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According to The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, much of the physical frailty attributed to aging is actually the result of inactivity, disease, or poor nutrition.
Many of these problems can be helped or even reversed by improving lifestyle behaviors. Regular exercise can provide protection against:
- coronary heart disease
- adult-onset diabetes
- certain cancers
- osteoporosis and depression
- tension and stress
Tips for effective exercising:
Once you begin your daily exercise routine, keep these points in mind to get the best results:
- Always drink water before, during and after your exercise session.
- Make exercising a part of your daily routine. You may want to set a regular time to exercise each day and invite a friend to join you.
- Start gradually, about 5 to 10 minutes at first.
- Increase the amount of exercise each day, up to about 30 to 60 minutes.
- Breathe deeply and evenly during and between exercises. Don't hold your breath.
- Rest whenever it is necessary.
- Keep a daily written record of your progress.
- Exercise to lively music, TV, or with friends for added enjoyment
Tips for cooling down:
If you have been participating in vigorous physical activity, it is extremely important not to stop suddenly. Abrupt stopping interferes with the blood to the heart and may result in dizziness or fainting. Simply reduce the intensity of the exercise gradually and end with a few slow stretches from the section on stretching.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|