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Maintaining an active lifestyle is important at every age because of the long list of physical, mental and emotional health benefits that come with it. One of the best ways to stay active is by exercising, which can be difficult as we get older and our bodies changes. Now that warmer weather has arrived, it’s a great time to resume, start or maintain an exercise plan to improve your overall health.

Why is exercise important?

Exercise can have a significant impact on our physical health because it improves our overall coordination, which can help our balance and mobility and ultimately prevent injuries or even falls. Beyond strength, exercising regularly can help our physical health by reducing the risk of chronic conditions and diseases like diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease.

Outside of physical health, exercising regularly can positively impact emotional and mental health. According to the Mayo Clinic[1], exercise can serve as a stress reliever and improve our mood. It can even lower symptoms of mild depression and anxiety. On top of these benefits, exercise can also improve our sleep, which also aids overall wellbeing.

Exercise can provide a great social outlet too. Being able to participate in group exercise classes or schedule exercise with a friend provides connection points and opportunities to form relationships that can combat loneliness and social isolation.

How to get started

  • Talk to your doctor: Find out if and what exercise is appropriate for you.
  • Schedule the time: Planning your exercise in advance is a great way to make sure it fits into your day.
  • Get an exercise buddy: Exercising with a friend can add accountability and make it easier to look forward to exercise time.
  • Build up your strength and endurance: Start with small amounts of time or low difficulty exercises and then work your way up to avoid injury or pain.
  • Set goals: Accomplishing goals can make it more rewarding to exercise.

[1] https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/exercise-and-stress/art-20044469

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