Now that another year has come and gone, you’re probably wondering what you did in 2021 (COVID-19 notwithstanding) that you can improve in 2022. If you’re like me, you’ve given up on writing down your resolutions, but that doesn’t mean we can’t at least think about them. So here is a suggestion to consider for this year’s resolution.
Get regular exercise. It has the following benefits:
- Builds stronger bones and muscles
- Reduces anxiety/stress/mild depression
- Enhanced self-image
- Improves academic performance
- Prolong independent living in older adults
- Improves quality of sleep
- Improves quality of life, including enjoyment of hobbies and recreation
- May help prevent mental decline
- Decreases risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis
Based on the Canadian Physical Activity Guide, the following criteria are important:
Gives you energy to keep your heart, lungs, circulation working together. Activities that improve endurance include are walking, golfing, cross-country skiing, cycling, and dancing. Perform these 4 – 7 days per week.
Focuses on your muscles and joints to allow easy movement. Activities that improve flexibility include are gardening, stretching, yoga, dancing, and bowling. Do these daily.
- Strength and balance:
Keep your muscles and bones strong. Activities that promote strength and balance include climbing stairs, weight training, push ups, and raking leaves These should be done 2 – 4 times per week.
Barriers to exercise and overcoming them:
Start with 10 minutes a day by incorporating a walk into your lunch hour or dancing on your balcony.
Find an activity that you enjoy. The goal of personal fitness is to have fun.
Exercise increases energy and stamina.
Activities such as swimming, walking, dancing are low cost ways to incorporate activity into your routine.
If you have never participated in an exercise program, talk to your doctor or health care professional before starting a program.