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Every Body, Every Day: How to Get Fit

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How many times in one week do we hear about exercising? Eating right? Losing weight? Keeping our heart healthy? Many have heard and understand that exercising is beneficial for health; however, there are often many questions about exactly how much exercises is needed, the benefits to activity, what qualifies as exercise.

What does it all mean?

Why is exercise important?
If your doctor told you that doing one thing for approximately 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week would significantly reduce your risk of:

Early death, coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, breast and colon cancer, falls, depression.

Would you consider incorporating it into your life? It would cause no harm, only benefits, including health and financial gains. Would you do it? By now it is no surprise that this 30-minute per day “thing” is Physical Activity!

Watch this video, it is worth every minute:

 

How much?

Some physical activity is better than none.  For major health benefits the CDC , the American College of Sports Medicine, the U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services, and the American Heart Association recommend that adults:

  • Engage in at least 150 minutes per week (i.e. 30 minutes, 5 days per week) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity.  Moderate-intensity is a level that elevates the heart rate, one becomes breathy (able to talk, but not necessarily sing a favorite song), and sweaty.
  • Participate in strength training at least 2 days per week.  Strength training uses weights, or one’s own body weight, to exercise the major muscles of the body (legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, and arms).

New to exercise?  That is okay!  Gradual progression of exercise frequency, total time, and intensity is recommended to reduce risk of injury.  Start small, perhaps 5 minutes per day, and work up towards a new goal each week.

What?

A gym membership is not required for physical activity.  Vigorous walking is considered moderate intensity, as is heavy gardening (shoveling, raking), bike riding, water aerobics, or pushing a lawn mower.  Chair exercises can also be done energetically enough to get one’s heart pumping.

Strength training includes lifting weights, working with resistance bands, using one’s own body weight (sit ups, push ups, squats, lunges), and yoga.

Older adults should also incorporate balance activities into their routine to reduce risk of falls.  Examples of balance activities include: standing on one leg (with something nearby to grab for steadiness), walking backward or sideways, or standing from a sitting position repeatedly.

When?

Anytime!  30 minutes per day can be a big commitment, but this can be broken down into smaller 10 minute segments, 3 times per day.  Simply becoming more active, even if less than 10 minutes at a time, can yield benefits.  Use simple tactics such as parking at the back of the parking lot, skipping the elevator and taking the stairs, and speaking in person to a colleague instead of email or phone call.

Remember!

Anyone and everyone can be more physically active, and can improve their health.  If you are an adult with a disability, regular physical activity can provide you with the same important health benefits.  The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability  can provide additional information and guidance.

The VA offers the MOVE! Weight Management Program  to all Veterans who want to improve their health through weight loss; speak with your PCP for more information, or to join the program.  Visit with a Registered Dietitian to discuss nutrition and exercise help and goal setting.  Speak with your healthcare provider before beginning any new physical activity routine for guidance and clearance.

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About Edited by Susan Bainbridge

At age 6, Susan was destined to be a journalist and photographer.  In 1980, Susan founded Bainbridge News and The Bainbridge Chronicle Newspaper. Bainbridge News specializes in Military and National Politics, including Military Funerals and Burials and Political Funerals and Burials.  Susan has covered the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. She has covered every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Recognized for her versatility, Susan has also covered finance, crime, civil rights events, marches, sports, musical events and more. In 1990, she established Bainbridge Photography, an On-Location photography company. In addition to military and political events, including Military and Political funerals and burials, Bainbridge Photography expanded into covering ALL funerals and burials, receptions, weddings, real estate, inventory, insurance, portrait, head shot, pets, fire and Hazmat.  Miss Bainbridge believes in going the extra mile. "My Clients always come first." In 1980, Susan began her career in Washington, D.C., working for WMZQ Radio as a reporter and guest hostess from 1980 to 1985. Intrigued by radio, Susan wanted to write, freelancing for radio, television and print newspapers, including AP, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Northern Virginia Sun, The Press-Republican and The Bainbridge Chronicle (established by Susan Bainbridge). In 1986, Susan worked at WDCA-TV Channel 20 as a guest hostess for "Eye On Washington." From 1990 to 1994, Susan reported and anchored for "The Arlington Weekly News." Additionally, she produced a segment for the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show. A prolific writer, while in high school in 1977, Bainbridge wrote an episode for NBC's "Little House on The Prairie" entitled "Laura's Best Friend." Though the show's producers did not use the script then, NBC producers encouraged Susan to pursue a writing and journalism career. Susan is a member of the National Press Club, the National Press Photographer's Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susan Bainbridge's recognitions include from former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the late actor Lorne Greene, among many others. BAINBRIDGE NEWS was founded in 1980 by Susan Bainbridge (a sixth generation writer), a third generation journalist, a first generation photographer and a fourth generation entrepreneur. She is the first generation to establish a news business. Bainbridge News is dedicated in honor of Miss Bainbridge's late grandfather and idol, Mark S. Watson (The Baltimore Sun editor and war correspondent from 1920 to his death in 1966).

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