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Health Benefits of Exercise
Increasing the amount of daily physical activity is a key ingredient to long term health and weight management. Every person should engage in moderate to high exercise for 30 minutes a day. Having said this, it is important to note that the goal of increased physical activity does not necessarily represent an hour of exercise and sweat a day. Adding physical activity to daily life can be as easy as walking the dog or taking the stairs.
Recent studies indicate that many of the same health benefits can be realized for those choosing to divide the recommended 30 minutes of exercise each day into smaller chunks. This is great news for those who find it difficult to fit a 30 minute stretch of exercise into daily life. A couple of 15 minute, brisk walks twice a day can easily be incorporated into daily life, and the health benefits are proven.
Useful suggestions to add physical activity into daily life include:
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Walk to the store
- Walk home from work
- Park at the far end of the parking lot
- Go for a walk during lunch hour
- Actively play with your kids
- Walk the dog
- Wash your own car
- Ride a stationary bike while watching TV
- Rake the leaves
- Work in the garden
- Clean the house
As the examples above indicate, incorporating physical activity into daily life does not have to mean a drive to the gym or finding a tennis partner. Everything you do during the day that involves activity can have a profound impact on overall health and well being.
The U.S. Government's Food and Nutrition Information Center offers detailed information about nutritional guidelines for Americans. The National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases offers excellent resources on nutrition and other health issues.
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