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Get moving and exercise!

Exercise can have many positive effects on your life both physically and mentally. Exercise helps people control their weight by burning calories. It can also help those with chronic conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes by lowering their blood pressure and blood sugar. When you exercise it helps your bones stay stronger, decreasing your risk for osteoporosis. It also lowers the risk of heart disease and dying from heart attack or stroke. Mentally, the endorphins released during exercise can help reduce stress and help with depression.

There are three main types of exercise: Aerobic, resistance training, and stretching. Each of these are important and should be incorporated to your exercise plan. Aerobic exercise raises your heart rate. Examples include running, walking, swimming, spinning, or kickboxing. Resistance training works on your muscles. It makes them stronger. Using weight machines, exercise bands, and free weights are examples of resistance training. Stretching increase flexibility and helps your muscles and joints move easier.

Try to exercise at least 5 days a week for 30 minutes each time. If you are unable to exercise for 30 minutes straight try to exercise for 10 minutes three time a day. The important thing is to try to stay active. Parking your car farther away from the grocery store, getting up at least once an hour at work to walk for five minutes, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator are little things that can be done and make a big impact on activity level. Finding the time to exercise can be a struggle for some people. Exercise actually increases your energy level and can help you get more done. Working on the computer or watching television can be bad for your health in excess, try to balance those activities with movement during your day.

In order to prevent injury it is important to exercise properly. Warming up before exercise is crucial to keep yourself from getting hurt. A warm up consists of light exercise such as walking or stretching for 5-10 minutes. During exercise make sure to stay hydrated and wear proper footwear. After your workout your muscles need to cool down. A cool down after exercise helps prevent muscle cramps and dizziness. Again light activity or stretching for 5 minutes should be sufficient. Get moving!

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