Exercise not only helps control weight and strengthens muscles, but it reduces the risk of various diseases, boosts energy, strengthens bones, lengthens the life span, improves mood, sex life, sleep patterns and may even help prevent or manage addictions--whether they be to drugs, food, or anything else.
With a little creativity and dedication, physical activity can become part of anyone's lifestyle.
1. Swimming/Water Aerobics/Water Jogging
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, water-based exercise improves the health of those with rheumatoid arthritis, improves the use of affected joints, and decreases pain from osteoarthritis. Additionally, exercising in the water has been shown to improve mental health by improving mood and decreasing anxiety and depression.
Check out what your local swimming pool, spring, or lake have to offer--do they have lap lanes, water aerobic classes, events, or just some free space for you to do your own thing? If you like to do water-based exercise year round, look for a community center or gym with an indoor pool.
Yoga and Pilates work to strengthen and lengthen all of the major muscle groups in the body. These exercises are excellent in improving flexibility, muscular and postural strength; greater coordination and balance; enhanced core strength; and stress management and relaxation.
Yoga and Pilates studios can be found in just about every city. These studios typically offer different types and levels to suit just about everyone's needs. If you live in a remote area or prefer to workout at home, DVDs and online memberships are also available.
3. Chair Workouts
For some, sitting is the only comfortable position for performing activity. Various exercises can be performed while sitting in a chair such as leg lifts, chair boxing, lifting weights, or using resistance bands. There are also DVDs available that are specifically made for chair exercises.
4. Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is like having a personal trainer. While this option can be expensive, some insurance companies will pay for it. Even just one or two appointments with a physical therapist can provide professional and personalized guidance to help you achieve your health goals.
Mandy Seay is a bilingual registered and licensed dietitian who holds both a bachelor's degree in nutrition and in journalism. After gaining 30 pounds while living abroad, Mandy worked to lose the weight and regain her health. It was here that she discovered her passion for nutrition and went on to pursue a career as a dietitian. Mandy currently works as a nutrition consultant and freelance writer in Austin, Texas, where she specializes in diabetes, weight management and general and preventive nutrition. She recently published her first book, Your Best Health, a personalized program to losing weight and gaining a healthy lifestyle. Please visit Mandy's website at Nutritionistics.com.