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EXERCISE…It isn’t just for kids!

We all know that exercise and physical activity are beneficial to our physical and mental well-being. Many people incorporate exercise into their regular routine, while some people are hoping to get started soon. You may be one of them.

Exercise can be easy to do. All you need is self-motivation and comfortable clothes and shoes. Many communities now have fitness facilities or gyms with reasonable membership fees. These gyms offer a variety of equipment; such as treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals and weight machines. There are several advantages to using these facilities. People can exercise in all types of weather. They can develop social relationships with other members. Gyms have someone available to provide instructions on how to use the equipment. The staff can also offer suggestions regarding stretching and exercises that match the person’s capabilities. Some memberships provide opportunities to go swimming or participate in water aerobics, which allows exercise that is easier on the joints.

Of course there are several other places available for indoor walking that are just as beneficial and are free. Wal-Mart, Target and the Capital Mall are a few examples. Other great places include the Runge Nature Center, Katy Trail and the Greenway. They provide wonderful opportunities to exercise while enjoying the perks of being outdoors and getting fresh air.

Did you know that exercise produces certain hormones that make us feel better both physically and mentally? In addition to healthy eating and getting adequate sleep, regular exercise helps to keep those numbers down that your medical provider is always interested in…blood pressure, blood sugars and weight. Participating in weight-bearing exercise also helps to keep bones strong while keeping our heart healthy.  There are many perks for regular exercise.

It just takes 30 to 60 minutes three to four times per week to realize these positive benefits. If you are not currently exercising, be sure to get an “okay” from your physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant before starting an exercise program. Slow and easy is the best way to start. You can gradually increase the amount of time and effort you put in to it.

You will be glad you made this change in your life and will feel much better for it.