Health and fitness. Healthy alternatives to Exercise Alternatives to Exercise Fitness that Feels like Fun

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Health and fitness

Health and fitness. Healthy alternatives

Alternatives to Exercise

Alternatives to Exercise

Fitness that Feels like Fun

Did you enjoy jumping rope, swimming, playing tag, or riding your bike as a kid? You probably didn't realize it was exercise because you were having fun. Well, working out can be fun. As long as you're physically active every day, you're getting exercise. Once you know your fitness level, think about lifestyle activities that can help you reach your exercise goals and enjoy it, too.

Break from Traditional Exercise Options

Gardening, yoga, and walking are simple activities that many people enjoy. They are also good alternatives to traditional exercise. Do not overlook them just because they are easy, or because you enjoy them. If you do any of these gentle exercises regularly, you will improve your overall health.

Got Kids? Take Them Out in the Stroller

Stroller fitness and other activities with children make sense for busy parents. While many moms are motivated to lose weight gained during pregnancy, stroller fitness and similar programs are great ways for the whole family to build healthy habits. Studies have shown that when parents provide good exercise examples, their kids are more likely to maintain healthy weights and fitness levels throughout their lives. Talk about a win-win situation!

Got Older Kids? Play Around

Playgrounds are not off limits to parents! Start a pickup game of basketball or challenge your kids to some backyard badminton. Before you know it, you have yourself a workout.

Working Out at Work

Working Out at Work

You can stay fit even when you are in the office all day. Working in a little exercise at work is smart, and it can be as easy as doing some neck and shoulder stretches at your desk, taking a walk at lunchtime, or stashing a set of handheld weights in your desk - and then using them, of course.

Keep Your Body Moving

Take a hike, or get back on your bike. Take dance lessons. Try canoeing or kayaking. Whatever you do, keep moving your body to look good, feel good and be healthy. Want more suggestions? Check with your doctor for specific exercise advice, or ask a fitness about other activities to keep your exercise habit, and your body, going strong.

Types of Exercise

Different types of exercise affect your body in different ways. A well-rounded exercise program for weight management includes 3 basic elements:
  • Aerobic exercise
  • Resistive or strengthening exercise
  • Stretching
  • Aerobic Exercise

  • Aerobic exercise is the rhythmic pumping of the arms and/or legs designed to get the heart working harder and blood pumping faster than normal. A healthy exercise habit for weight management and overall improved health should include 20-60 minutes of aerobic activity 3 to 5 times per week. Just starting to exercise? Build up your aerobic activity over time. Aerobic exercises include:
  • Walking
  • Running
  • Biking
  • Swimming
  • Dancing
  • Jumping rope
  • Many other activities

Resistive or Strengthening Exercise

Resistive or strengthening exercise increases muscle mass, which increases your metabolism and strength. Strength training isn't just for body builders. Many strengthening exercises also help improve your balance and endurance for everyday activities. Resistive exercises can be done using:

  • Free weights, like dumbbells (or soup cans, or other household items)
  • Weight machines such as those in a gym or fitness center
  • Elastic bands
  • Your own body weight
  • When starting any strengthening activities, you should work with a knowledgeable trainer such as a physical therapist, exercise physiologist or your doctor to make sure you're doing the exercises properly and getting the greatest benefit from your efforts.


Stretching is important! Stretching increases your flexibility, helps prevent injuries, and can be very relaxing. It's good for your physical and mental health. The 2 most important things to remember when stretching are:
  • Do each stretch slowly
  • Hold each stretch for 30 seconds

  • Wondering when to stretch? The good news is you can stretch almost anytime and almost anywhere. However, exercise experts say it may be more important to warm up before exercising, and to stretch after exercising.

    As always, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor or ask a fitness expert about tailoring your exercise and fitness program to your specific weight management needs and goals.

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