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Get Physical!

By definition, exercise is any series of physical or gymnastic activity and movement, designed to make the body stronger and fitter, intended to keep a person or animal fit and healthy.

Exercise is not limited to physical movement. When mentally stimulated through reading, window-shopping, watching television, facial massage, expressing artistic talents such as writing or drawing, talking, we provide an outlet for negative emotions such as frustration, anger, and irritability, promoting a more positive mood and outlook.

Types of Exercises
The goal of exercise is to increase strength and endurance. Strength refers to one’s capacity to do work, lift objects or alertness. Endurance, on the one hand, refers to the length of efficiency or strength. They may sound synonymous but strength is what you can do while endurance is how long you can do what you can do. There are three types of exercise performing different functions to improve strength and endurance:

  1. Toning muscle exercise where muscles contract against a resistant object with movement such as in weight lifting.
  2. Increasing strength exercise where body gains strength without building bulk, i.e. aerobics and treadmill.
  3. Stretching exercises help increase flexibility and joint mobility.

Planning an Exercise Program
Before beginning an exercise program, a physical examination is suggested. If you are over forty, your doctor will probably want to do a stress electrocardiogram to determine how much activity your heart can handle. If you have not exercised regularly for some time, begin slowly with low-impact exercise and gradually increase your activity. If you experience any adverse side effects, such as dizziness, cramps or chest pain, stop exercising and consult your physician.

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