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If you are beginning a new exercise routine, be sure to read this two-part series to learn about the benefits of physical activity.
Dr. Eunice Sanchez-Mata, a Sharp-affiliated family medicine physician with Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Centers, responds to frequently asked questions about exercise.
Why is exercise so important?
There are many benefits of regular physical activity. First, regular exercise can help prevent chronic health conditions such as, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease because exercise is a great way to decrease “bad” cholesterol and increase "good" cholesterol. Second, when you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn — and the easier it is to keep your weight under control. Lastly, physical activity stimulates brain chemicals, called endorphins, that help you feel happier and relaxed. In general, people that exercise regularly look better, feel happier and have less incidence of depression.
How much exercise should the average adult get each week?
According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, the average adult should do two types of physical activity each week to improve their health. These two types of physical activity are aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercises. Adults need at least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking or jogging, 3 to 4 times per week. Muscle-strengthening activity, such as light weight lifting, resistance band use and yoga, is recommended for at least 30 minutes 2 times per week.
What are the tips you share with those who are beginning an exercise routine?
Some tips I share with those just beginning a new exercise routine are:
This is the first part, in a series of two, about exercise. To read the second part, visit Tips to Maintain an Exercise Program.
For More Information
To learn more about Sharp's weight-loss services or to find a San Diego doctor, search for San Diego doctors or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.