Can you walk to your mailbox and back without getting winded?  If you can’t, you’ve obviously got a problem brewing, and increasing the amount of exercise you get on a regular basis may be one important step to help solve that problem.  In our society, we may equate exercise with spandex, running shoes, or expensive gym membership, but worthwhile exercise doesn’t have to incorporate any of those.  Can you guess the national average of Americans that exercise regularly?  It’s about 50%.  That’s great, but that leaves a whole bunch of us that get very little exercise.  In fact, about 1/3 of our population claims they have gotten little to no exercise in the past week.  That includes children too!

According to the Centers for Disease Control, inactivity is associated with  more than 9 million cases of cardiovascular disease with an estimated direct medical cost of over 25 billion. Currently, over 68% of Americans are overweight, and 34% are considered obese.  It’s estimated a person loses 9 years of life by being obese.  The younger a person becomes obese, the harder the impact on the body long-term.  Over 40% of obese Americans claim they don’t even get 30 minutes of exercise in any given day.

Exercise is a main factor in helping to control weight.  It increases the rate of our metabolism and stimulates our endocrine system to produce much-needed hormones.  It combats health conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis, as well as improving overall mood, energy level, and sleep.  Besides, exercise can be fun too!

Exercise can (and should) include aerobic, cardio exercise, anerobic exercises such as weights and even saunas, static or isometric exercises (like holding a muscle until it becomes shaky or fatigued) and stretching.

For the novice, start slow.  Cardio exercise can include walking – shoot for about 10,000 steps per day – about 5 miles – to maintain health.  Women get an average of 5200 steps per day and men walk an average of 7200 steps per day.

A mini trampoline or rebounder is also a very effective cardio exercise and is one of the best ways you can stimulate your lymph system and help detox your body.  Rebounders take about 80% of the stress off your joints – very low impact.  Ten minutes on the rebounder equates to about a half hour of running and is 68% more effective!

Timing of exercise can be very important, especially in overweight people who may be struggling with their cardiovascular system.  In the morning, eat breakfast at least one hour prior to workout.  Don’t eat too much before working out – keep it light.  For large meals, wait 3-4 hours before exercising.  Always exercise when you feel your best, whether that is morning, afternoon, or evening.  It’s always more fun to have a partner while exercising too!

There is no pill that will give your body the same positive effects of good old-fashioned exercise.  Strive for just 30 minutes a day, and chart your progress so you can see positive results for yourself!

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