No matter who you are, exercise can help you live a better, healthier life. You can feel the benefits of exercise even if it isn’t strenuous. Just 30 minutes a day of light exercise can help you live longer, even if you don’t work up a sweat
Whether you’re doing chair stretches or training for a marathon, staying active can make a big difference. Here are some fun ways to stay healthy, no matter who you are.
Yoga is great for balance, range of motion, and more. It reduces your level of cortisol—one of the chemicals associated with stress. It can also help strengthen your bones. Because while yoga is a low-impact exercise, holding certain poses can mean that you’re using all of your limbs to bear weight and muscle pressure in ways they might not be used to. This can help trigger new bone growth.
Yoga can be done anywhere, whether it’s in a class or with the help of online videos. And yoga can be modified to account for just about anyone or anyone’s level of comfort or ability.
Walking is easier on your body than many other forms of exercise, but the benefits are incredible. It’s good for your heart and your lungs. It’s good for your mental health. It can boost creativity, reduce the risk of stroke, and help you maintain strong bones and muscles. Walking gets you out and around, seeing new places or noticing new things about familiar ones.
And it’s easy to do! You don’t need any special equipment. You don’t even need a lot of time. Any amount of walking is better than not getting any exercise at all. If you can build a little walk into your daily schedule, it can make a huge difference.
For many people, swimming is a great, accessible way to get moving. The weightlessness of being in water means that even people with injuries, arthritis, joint pain, or mobility issues can get a full-body workout. Swimming uses a wide variety of different muscle groups, giving you a chance to exercise your whole body—including your heart and lungs.
Swimming’s low-impact nature and holistic effects make it a popular choice during pregnancy, as well as for seniors. But swimming’s benefits are for everyone.
Paddling is a great way to get some fresh air and some exercise, all at the same time. Canoeing or kayaking get your heart going, and paddling is a great workout for your arms. But there are other benefits, as well. Keeping a small boat like a canoe or kayak steady also works your legs and your core. This can help reduce back problems and improve posture.
From recreational kayaks for exploring a lake to fishing kayaks meant for spending a long, slow day on the water, there are a lot of ways and reasons to get paddling. It may not be as easy to do at home as yoga or walking, but it’s surprisingly accessible and a lot of fun.
In the end, the kind of exercise you do isn’t as important as the fact that you’re doing it at all. Staying active is an important part of staying healthy. At any age, at any level of skill or ability, physical activity matters. It can help your longevity and your quality of life by strengthening your heart, your lungs, and more. It can give you endorphins that increase your sense of mental and emotional well-being. It’s a great way to meet people—or to get away from them for a while. So whatever you do, however you do it, get the most important thing is to get moving.
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