Oh, No - Another New Year's Resolution!
We hear it over and over - the resolution to eat healthier and shed a few pounds. How many people actually stick with this resolution? Maybe a few, but more than likely, after a few months, old habits creep back in for the majority of people who make that resolution. I say, bravo for at least attempting to make some positive changes!
There are actually 11 very good reasons for including physical activity five or more days each week. Experts suggest that exercise provides the following:
1) improves the quality of your life
2) relieves depression
3) prevents certain types of cancer
4) enhances self-image
5) relieves stress and anxiety
6) reduces the risk of heart disease
7) slows down the aging process
8) increases the good (HDL) cholesterol
9) improves quality of sleep
10) improves mental sharpness
11) lowers blood glucose - important for those with diabetes
The goal is to achieve 30 minutes of physical activity daily by setting realistic expectations. There are two basic types of exercise - aerobic and resistance (also called strength). Aerobic exercise helps your heart work better and helps to get rid of fat in the abdominal areas. Abdominal fat is also called toxic fat because it increases your chances of heart disease. Examples of aerobic exercise includes walking, running, swimming, dancing, gardening, cleaning house, and mowing the lawn.
Resistance or strength training builds and tones muscles, increases bone mass, strengthens ligaments & tendons, improves endurance, reduces body fat, and increases stability. If you don't have weights, canned goods will work just fine. Use 1/2 to 3 pound weights. Dr. Carol Rice, Regents Fellow and Nutrition Professor at TAMU, suggests doing 8 to 10 different exercises and 10 to 15 repetitions of each two or three days per week. Resistance bands, available in many stores, are great for working muscles. They include a booklet of various strengthening exercises. If you have eye problems, your doctor may advise you to choose activities such as walking, gardening, or other types of activities.
Be sure to drink plenty of water. Five glasses of water per day decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%. Statistics tell us that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. A mere 2% drop in body water causes fuzzy short-term memory. So forget the soft drinks, energy drinks, and other sweetened beverages. Reach for a glass of cool water!
Next week - simple nutrition changes you can make for the health of it!
Some people change their ways when they see the light, others when they feel the heat.
Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Agent
1200-B W. Houston
P.O. Box 518
Sulphur Springs, TX 75483
903-885-3443 - phone
903-439-4909 - fax