Dietitian Tips: Exercise and Physical Activity

Dietitian Tips: Exercise and Physical Activity

methwick-exercise-and-activity-may-2020

With the improving weather this spring and a recent drop in events, it’s a great time to start thinking about exercise and physical activity. The intensity level can be as high or low as you want; simply walking is enough to derive many health benefits. You can also increase everyday activities such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking farther away from the door. Some of the benefits include:

  • Preventing the loss of muscle mass to maintain mobility
  • Strengthening bones to prevent fractures
  • Reducing the risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes
  • Improved sleep
  • Enhanced immune function

The minimum guidelines for exercise or physical activity are 150 minutes per week (30 minutes x 5 days) and two days of muscle strengthening activities per week, such as lifting weights. Different types of exercise may focus on strength, flexibility, or cardiovascular endurance.

Regardless of activity level, anybody can participate in stretching. Just follow these steps:

  • Try to stretch at least twice per week
  • Perform a variety of stretches for a minimum of 10 minutes
  • Hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds and repeat two to four times
  • Start slow and find your ability level, then continue to improve

Tips to get started or increase your physical activity:

  • First, check with your doctor if you have any physical or medical limitations
  • Do a variety of activities and find the ones you enjoy the most (walking, biking, hiking, etc)
  • Make a plan that’s right for you and stick to it (choose days and times)
  • Start slow to avoid injury and allow your body time to adjust
  • The best way to stay on track is to find a partner and encourage each other