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Exercise, if only it came in a pill

Well, here we are after Labor Day, how are your New Year’s Resolutions for getting more exercise doing? Or, maybe you are bored with the same old same old. Now is a good time to get back on track and in the habit of getting moving. Or try something new to challenge yourself.

Exercise is very beneficial for everything going on in your body. It helps you get better sleep, boosts your immune system, helps prevent many long-term diseases like heart attacks and dementia, and improves your mood. And, of course, it can help you lose weight. All it takes is doing something regularly, at least 30 minutes a day 4-5 days a week.

If that seems like a lot of time out of your day, you can make time for it. Schedule as a daily meeting for yourself if that helps. I’m sure we all waste at least 30 minutes a day (probably online or on social media!)

A great program would include stretching, weight training, and cardiovascular/aerobic training. It’s also best to rotate to different muscle groups “cross-training”, like walking, swimming, biking versus only doing running. You can weight train every other day, or alternate upper with lower body, so that each muscle group gets at least one day of rest.

To get the most bang for your buck, try to do a few workouts outside without music or podcasts in your ears. It is equally good for your body to be out in nature and letting your mind roam as you listen to the sounds and see the sights. It does help keep us from being depressed! Once the sunlight starts to fade more, try to get out at first light a few times as well. Seeing daylight early helps you sleep better at night and also keeps your mood up during fall and winter.

See where you can fit exercise easily into your schedule- maybe get up a little earlier, do it at lunch, or right when you get home, or after dinner. Start slow, maybe just try for 10 minutes at a time. You don’t have to join a gym—there are lots of exercise programs online, many are free. For extra motivation, you can sign up for challenges like a 5K run/walk or a virtual challenge like the ones on the

Now is a great time to start to work on getting in shape so you can show off to your relatives over the holidays. Maybe ask them to join you in a 5K Turkey Trot or Jingle Bell Run!


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