Monday, June 30, 2014

Exercise and Physical Activity

Staying active through exercise throughout the week is one of the activities I do for my Winter Wellness Workout this season. I believe that it can
improve my overall wellness, including a healthy body and state of mind, and have a positive, direct and long term benefits on my everyday life, not just for this winter, but in all seasons.
A number of studies have shown that exercise helps lift our mood and improve sleep patterns. It may also change levels of chemicals in our brain, such as serotonin, endorphins and stress hormones. Doing any physical activity is better than doing nothing on most, preferably all, days of the week with the goal to accumulate to either 3-5 hours of moderate intensity, 2-3 hours of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities weekly.

The following physical activities are great for beginners, to more advanced seasoned fitness fanatics:
  • Muscle strengthening (resistance and strength training) twice a week - strength training exercises work your muscles by applying a resistance against which the muscles need to exert a force. As a beginner, I've adopted a strength training program that involves 8 to 10 exercises that work the major muscle groups of the body. I just do it at home with a pair of dumbbells.
  • Aerobic exercise (cardio training) including walking, jogging, zumba, cycling 3-4 times a week.
  • I've also started the total body boot camp workout & cardio workshop with FitnessBlender through their youtube videos. They also have bodyweight workouts, HIIT, Pilates, yoga, circuit training, stretching, and more; workout videos for literally every fitness level, including very beginner to incredibly advanced.

It's been well documented that regular exercise and physical activity can increase mood, self-confidence and lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise also can improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress. All this can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.

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