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Why should I exercise?
Is there an easy way to work out?Achieving physical fitness isnít solely about working out. Activity should be part of your daily routine. For instance, take the stairs instead of the elevator, park your car on the far end of the lot and walk into buildings, spend one-half of every TV show moving while you watch, walk in place while you talk on the phone, dance while you listen to music. Get up from your computer and take a 10-minute mini-exercise break two or three times a day. Youíll concentrate and feel better when you return.
Do I need to exercise every day?Try to include at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily. If your goal is to lose weight, shoot for 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity most days of the week. To make sure you achieve your exercise goal, plan in advance by exercising in the morning before your day gets too busy or put the exercise on your calendar just as you would schedule any other important meeting. Cardiovascular activities, muscle building and flexibility should all be incorporated into your fitness regimen.
Should I join a gym?If you can afford to join a gym, youíll receive instruction and support from fitness trainers. But you can improve physical fitness without the aid of a gym membership. Walking is one of the simplest weight-bearing activities. Find a friend to walk with you and youíre more likely to stay with it. Vary your exercise by trying water aerobics, swimming, Zumba or other types of fitness classes. Variety will help keep you motivated.
What should I know before I start?Before beginning a fitness routine, itís a good idea to talk to your family medicine doctor. Beginning a regular exercise regimen is one of the most important steps you can do to positively impact your overall health. Some health factors, such as genetics, are not within your control. But exercise is one thing you can do that can help prevent or modify the course of disease. Itís important to start with realistic goals because you will be more likely to stick with it.
Dr. Kinsey Shultz Piatz is a family medicine doctor at Sanford North Mandan Clinic. She is a graduate of the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and completed her residency at Siouxland Medical Education Foundation in Sioux City, Iowa.