News & Info

What’s Good for the Body is Good for the Mind

Most of us know we need to move our bodies more. We need movement and exercise to maintain our physical strength, balance, and flexibility. But, as you may know, physical activity has more than physical benefits. An article on the American Physical Therapy Association’s consumer information website, ChoosePT (physical therapy), lists these “top 10 benefits of physical activity”:

  1. Improve your memory and brain function (all age groups).
  2. Protect against many chronic diseases.
  3. Aid in weight management.
  4. Lower blood pressure and improve heart health.
  5. Improve your quality of sleep.
  6. Reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
  7. Combat cancer-related fatigue.
  8. Improve joint pain and stiffness.
  9. Maintain muscle strength and balance.
  10. Increase life span.

That’s an amazing mix of benefits for not just your mental and physical health, but also your longevity.

If you’re active, keep it up! If you’re not, find a way to start that’s easy and achievable. Because most of us lead sedentary lifestyles, even the smallest steps – like walking around the block or doing a few stretches – can help. The current recommendations for adults are:

Adults aged 18-64

  • At least 150 minutes (for example, 30 minutes 5 days a week) of moderate intensity activity such as brisk walking each week.
  • At least two days a week of activities that strengthen muscles.

Adults aged 65 and up

  • At least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity, such as brisk walking, each week.
  • At least two days a week of activities that strengthen muscles.
  • Activities to improve balance such as standing on one foot.

Adults with chronic conditions and disabilities

  • At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity each week.
  • At least two days a week of muscle-strengthening activities that include all major muscle groups.
  • If you are unable to meet the recommendations, be as active as you can and try to avoid inactivity.

Pregnant and post-partum women

  • At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, such as brisk walking, during pregnancy and the postpartum period.

Remember, some physical activity is better than none, so do what you can. Aim for the recommended activity level, but don’t push yourself to the point of injury or discouragement. Build on your success slowly.

When to check with your doctor

Doing physical activity that requires moderate effort is safe for most people, but if you have a health condition such as heart disease, arthritis, or diabetes, be sure to talk with your doctor about the types and amounts of physical activity that are right for you. Also, if you have been inactive, are not too fit, or are overweight, and want to do vigorous-intensity physical activity, such as jogging, it is safest to discuss this with your doctor.

We wish you success in strengthening your body and your mind!

Categories: Exercise, Healthy Aging