7 Benefits of Physical Activity

Exercise is a key factor in disease prevention, treatment and control. According to the Mayo Clinic, there are at least seven benefits of regular physical activity. Briefly, these include:
1. Exercise controls weight.
2. Exercise combats health conditions and diseases.
3. Exercise improves mood.
4. Exercise boosts energy.
5. Exercise promotes better sleep.
6. Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life.
7. Exercise can be fun, and thus reduce stress.
As a general goal, a person should aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Talk with your doctor or health care team about what your exercise goal should be.

Barriers to Exercising Daily (and Strategies to Overcoming these Challenges)
A person having no leisure time for physical activity in the past month may be due to potential barriers.  Below are 10 reported barriers to exercising daily as reported by experts and also highlighted by the Mayo Clinic:

Barrier: I don’t have enough time to exercise.
Potential Solution: Drive less, walk more.

Barrier: I think exercise is boring.
Potential Solution: Choose activities you enjoy.

Barrier: I’m self-conscious about how I look.
Potential Solution: Avoid the crowd. Remind yourself that many people look and 
   feel the same as you.

Barrier: I’m too tired to exercise after work.
Potential Solution: Try a morning dose of exercise for an added boost of energy. 
   Exercise during your lunch hour at work. For example, go for a short 10-minute 
    walk during your lunch hour.

Barrier: I’m too lazy to exercise.
Potential Solution: Schedule exercise as you would schedule an important 
   appointment. Remain positive.

Barrier: I’m not an athlete.
Potential Solution: Keep it simple. Forget the competition.

Barrier: I’ve tried to exercise in the past and failed.
Potential Solution: Pace yourself. Set realistic goals. Yesterday is gone. 
   Today is a new day.
Barrier: I can’t afford health-club fees.
Potential Solution: Exercise at home. 
  Take the stairs. Visit community centers 
    like YWCA or YMCA.

Barrier: I’m afraid I’ll hurt myself 
    if I exercise.
Potential Solution: Get a fitness expert to help you. 
    Try an exercise class for beginners.

Barrier: My family doesn’t support my efforts.
Potential Solution: Remind your family of the benefits of exercising. Find fun 
   activities to do as a family like walking, bike riding, dancing, swimming, bowling, 
    basketball, volleyball or soccer.

Exercise to Maintain a Healthy Weight
Increasing physical activity levels can result in weight loss. Talk to your doctor, dietician, health nutritionist, fitness trainer and/or health educator about meeting your specific fitness goals. Remember to also check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you are taking medications or experiencing any health concerns.

Staying Motivated to Exercise Daily
Try to remain motivated and enthusiastic about exercising daily. Like most Americans, finding time to exercise when you have a busy schedule is not easy. However, in my opinion, it is worth the effort to find time to exercise daily because the benefits outweigh the cost.  Invest in your (and your loved one’s) health by exercising.
Experts provide several tips for staying motivated to exercise daily. Below are seven tips as proposed by the Mayo Clinic:
1. Set realistic goals.
2. Make it fun.
3. Make physical activity part of your daily routine.
4. Put it on paper. Track your progress.
5. Join forces with friends, neighbors or others. Exercise with loved ones.
6. Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life.
7. Exercise can be fun, and thus reduce stress.
Also add listening to your favorite music when you are exercising and having fun in the sun. You can even dance to your favorite songs.

Remember that exercise has lots of benefits, so keep active. You can send your health questions to ¡Hola, Oralia! at dr.oraliagarciadominic@gmail.com. Together we can help keep Pennsylvania residents healthy.

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