|National Healthy Weight Awareness Month:|
|January is Healthy Weight Month so get physical. Physical activity is proven to help with achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. The following article offers encouragement and suggestions on how and why it is important to be physical active and be physical fit.|
|Importance of Physical Fitness|
|The weather has cooled off and the holidays are over, so now it’s time to focus on our physical fitness. Physical activity is important for both a healthy mind and body for people of all ages. Research has shown that moderate intensity on a regular basis increases your physical activity level and can improve health and well-being. However, when changing your level of activity, consult a health-care provider for individual considerations and/or restrictions. The following are some of the identified benefits of a regular exercise program:
Warm up exercises are a critical component in preparing to perform any sport or fitness training program. The purpose of the warm-up is to provide a safe muscle preparation by providing a dynamic muscle stretch. Dynamic stretching can be defined as a controlled motion gradually forcing body parts past its usual range of motion. Warm-ups are done for 10 to 15 minute and consist of light, physical, simulating activity and exercise.
Warm up exercises are contrary to the old myth of performing only static stretches prior to any exercise program. Static stretches can be defined by maintaining the position of the muscle while it is under tension causing the muscle to lengthen. Current research has shown that static stretches prior to an exercise program does not have any physiological benefits. Static stretches are shown to be more appropriate at the end of the workout program as part of the cool down, promoting maximum muscle range of motion of the involved muscle group. Cool down exercises should contain 5 to 10 minutes of easy exercise followed by 10 to 20 minutes of stretching.
Now that you are warmed up and ready to go, what are some exercises that will promote the above health benefits?
Implementing an Exercise Program. Despite the proven benefits of physical activity, more than 50 percent of Americans do not get enough physical activity to provide health benefits. Roughly 25 percent of all adults are not active in their leisure time.
Do you more often fall in the 25 percent category of adults who are not active at all in their leisure time?? If so, it’s time to begin your new exercise program and lifestyle change. For the New Year, make a pledge to yourself and a commitment to physical activity. This will help you stay motivated and stay on track to reach your physical fitness goals for 2020.
1. Physical Activity and Health. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everone/health/index.html.
2. The Importance of Physical Activity CDC USA. Medical News Today. Retrieved from www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/7180.php.
3. Noltemeyer M. The Exercise Mistake You Make Before You Take a Single Step. Total Health Breakthroughs. March 16, 2010. Retrieved from http://www.totalhealthbreakthroughs.com/2010/03/the-exercise-mistake-you-make-before-you-take-a-single-step/.