Exercise – A Guest Post by Registered Dietitian, Maria Kennedy

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The SportsPlex is happy to present it’s first guest blog from our guest Maria Kennedy. In case you needed some factual motivation on why to exercise, here it is. More to come from her in the future!

Exercise

Exercise is great for your mind and body. It is recommended that children engage is 60 minutes of exercise most days of the week. For adults the goal should be to exercise at least 30 minutes most days OR to exercise 150+ minutes each week. The 30 minute workouts do not have to be all at one time. For example, you can take two 15 minute brisk walks in one day. You can also workout for an hour a couple of days a week when you have more time and then fit in 15+ minutes here or there when you can.  If exercise is new for you, check with your doctor before starting an exercise routine. This is extra important if you are female and 55+ years old, or if you are male 45+ years old, or have any medical health risks. Please do not let this scare you, more than likely it will be very beneficial for you to exercise!  If you have been exercising for a while, switch up your normal routine to challenge your body.

There are many benefits of exercising, here are some very important ones:

  • Lowers your risk of heart disease/stroke, some types of cancer, and type II diabetes.
  • Helps you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Builds and maintains muscle. You need strong muscles to stay active. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn when you are at rest. As part of the aging process, we lose muscle. Exercise will help us stay strong as we age.
  • Weight bearing exercise builds and maintains bone mass. We build bone mass (or bone thickness) until we are about 30 years old. After the age of 30 we do not increase bone mass. So exercise often before age 30 to build strong bones. Keep exercising after age 30 to help maintain the bone mass you have. Weight bearing exercise includes walking, running and lifting weights. Strong bones also need adequate vitamin D and calcium.
  • Exercise also improves mood, boosts energy, and promotes sleep.

If you are new to exercise it is great to start with walking. If all you can do is 5 or 10 minutes that is fine, just keep adding a little time each day. The more you exercise, the easier it will get.

If you already exercise, here are some ideas to change workout:

We hope you make it to the SportsPlex often. On days when you are unable to make it, here are some ideas to fit in a quick workout at home:

  • Follow an exercise video or if you have a Wii try Wii Fit, Zumba or Just Dance.
  • Alternate any of the following: jumping jacks, sit ups, push ups, dips, planks and running in place. Do this for about 20 minutes. More ideas: http://www.fitwatch.com/exercise/10-ways-you-can-exercise-at-home-without-any-equipment-10.html
  • Play your favorite dance music and have a mini dance party. This is fun with kids, the whole family, or by yourself.
  • Instead of just sitting on the couch watching TV, every time a commercial comes on jog in place, do jumping jacks, pushups, sits ups, etc. until the commercial ends.
  • Jump rope.
  • Take a quick walk.

Maria Kennedy, MPH, RD, LDN

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