One of the most important things people can do for their health is to engage in regular physical activity. A life that includes exercise is one with less likelihood of serious physical and mental ailments. The benefits are wide-ranging, from stronger bones, greater lung power, and a healthier heart to a lower cancer risk, a sharper brain, and a happier spirit.
Unfortunately, most Americans are not active enough to reap these rewards. But a reasonably modest change in behavior can make a big difference, bringing benefits within reach. Most of us could improve our health significantly by making room in our lives for a half-hour of exercise most days of the week. And the exercise doesn't have to be intense—it can be a simple 30-minute walk at a moderate pace.
This discussion will include types of physical activity and their benefits, how to choose your goals, and how to monitor your progress.Why is physical activity important?What types of exercise—and how much—does my body need?Healthy or fit?Do I need to join a gym, buy exercise equipment, or work with a trainer to be physically fit?I am far from fit. Is it too late for me?What should I do before beginning an exercise program?I've just begun exercising. What rules of thumb should I keep in mind?Am I working hard enough?Related Links