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Creating an Exercise Program

Exercise is vital for your health. It can improve your overall sense of well-being. It helps you keep good heart-healthy habits. A daily exercise program is a way for you to share an activity with your family and friends. Even low-to-moderate intensity activities for 30 minutes a day can help. These include:

  • Walking briskly

  • Climbing stairs

  • Gardening

  • Yard work

  • Moderate-to-heavy housework

  • Dancing

  • Home exercise

Before you start

Talk with your healthcare provider before you start any exercise program, especially if:

  • You haven’t exercised in a while

  • You have any health conditions

The benefits of regular exercise

Regular exercise can:

  • Improve blood flow around your body

  • Keep your weight under control

  • Improve your blood cholesterol levels

  • Prevent and manage high blood pressure

  • Prevent bone loss

  • Boost your energy level

  • Release tension

  • Improve your sleep

  • Improve your self-image

  • Help manage stress

  • Counter anxiety and depression

  • Improve thinking ability

  • Increase your enthusiasm and optimism

  • Improve your muscle strength

  • Increase your endurance

Good for all ages

Daily exercise can also help a child prevent these problems:

  • Obesity

  • High blood pressure

  • High cholesterol

  • Heart attack and stroke later in life

For an older adult, daily activity can help:

  • Delay or prevent chronic illness

  • Keep their quality of life and independence

Aerobic exercises to try

Aerobic activities are good for the health of your heart and lungs. Do them several times a week. Do them for 30 to 60 minutes each time. Experts advise adults do at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity a week.

Doing aerobic activity:

  • Increases your ability to exercise

  • Helps prevent heart disease

  • Helps prevent some types of cancer

  • May help to lower blood pressure

These activities can include:

  • Brisk walking

  • Running

  • Swimming

  • Playing tennis

  • Cycling

  • Roller skating

  • Jumping rope

Strength exercises to try

Experts advise that adults do exercise that keeps muscles strong. Do these at least 2 times a week. They should include the major muscle groups. This means your legs, hips, back, chest, arms, shoulders, and stomach.

These activities can include:

  • Lifting weights

  • Using resistance bands

  • Doing push-ups

  • Yoga

  • Pilates

Online Medical Reviewer: Melinda Murray Ratini DO
Online Medical Reviewer: Stacey Wojcik MBA BSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Thomas N Joseph MD
Date Last Reviewed: 3/1/2023
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