to Stay Healthy
many benefits. Our bodies thrive on regular
physical activity. Exercise provides both
physical and emotional rewards. Exercise
your blood pressure
decrease your total blood cholesterol
(and increase your HDL cholesterol, the
your blood sugar.
physical effects decrease the risk of
stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.
also help decrease the risk of osteoporosis,
or thin bones which tend to fracture easily.
emotional benefits of exercise are:
sense of well-being
affects our brain chemistry. For example,
exercise can help treat mild depression.
exercise increases the body's metabolic
rate. Regular exercise can raise the number
of calories your body uses for some time,
even after you have finished your activity,
leading to weight loss.
Types of exercise
exercise, which involves continuous
activity, increases endurance and helps your
body use oxygen more effectively. Your lungs
work harder to bring in more oxygen and your
heart pumps harder to send blood to the
muscles. This process strengthens your
lungs, heart, and muscles. Running,
swimming, and dancing are types of aerobic
activities that increase cardiovascular
or roller skating
regular or low impact
playing racquetball or tennis
of exercise, such as weight lifting and
stretching, are known as aerobic exercise.
This type of activity can improve muscle
strength and flexibility. Such exercise
improves endurance, dexterity, and balance.
performed at low and moderate intensity will
help you stay fit and healthy. You do not
need to exercise strenuously to improve your
health. For example, regular, moderate
activity, such as three 10-minute walks a
day, reduces your risk of death from heart
disease by as much as 60%. Try to build up
to 30 minutes of exercise a day on most days
beginning an exercise program, consider the
physical activities do you enjoy?
prefer group or individual activities?
What kind of
program best fits your schedule?
you have access to a health club or gym
or do you own any home exercise
equipment you are not using?
Do you have
any physical conditions that limit your
choice of exercise program? For example,
if you have arthritis, exercise is an
important part of the overall treatment.
Ask your doctor about ways to exercise,
including range-of-motion exercises.
table can help you plan your exercise
program. It lists average calories burned
for different activities.
Calories Burned Per Minute Activity
2 to 2.5 Standing
2.5 to 4 Walking 2 miles an hour
Bicycling 5 miles an hour
4 to 5 Walking 3 miles an hour
Bicycling 6 miles an hour
5 to 6 Walking 4 miles an hour
6 to 7 Bicycling 10 miles an hour
7 to 8 Walking briskly 5 miles an hour
8 to 10 Jogging 5 miles an hour
Bicycling 12 miles an hour
10 to 11 Jogging 6 miles an hour
Squash and handball
include warm-up and cool-down exercises
before and after aerobic exercise. Muscles
that have not been used are cool. Stretching
and other low-intensity exercise performed
for 5 to 10 minutes warms your muscles,
making them more flexible and less prone to
injury. Your choice of stretches depends on
the type of exercise you plan to do. Hold
each stretch for 30 seconds and do not
exercise, allow your heart rate to return
slowly to normal. Stretch the muscles used
during your exercise. Walking slowly, for
example, will let you cool down and allow
your heart and breathing to return to normal
levels. After stretching, your muscles will
be more flexible and less stiff. Devote a
total of 5 to 10 minutes to cooling down.
You can use warm-up exercises for cool-down
Phyllis G. Cooper, R.N., M.N., and iMcKesson
Clinical Reference Products.
Published by iMcKesson Clinical Reference
Copyright © 1991-2000 iMcKesson LLC. All
Adapted from content provided
by iMcKesson, LLC
Review Date: 6/9/2001