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Getting Started With Exercise For Health Benefits

By Amy Silva

There are a wide variety of health benefits to exercising even if you aren't trying to lose weight. Studies show that by getting your body moving, symptoms of anxiety and depression can be alleviated, and it may aid in reducing the risk for specific kinds of cancer. It can also help reduce symptoms of those with certain existing health problems like high blood pressure or arthritis, among others. Always speak to your doctor before beginning an exercise program to find one that is right for you.

Walking

Walking around the neighborhood, the mall or in nature is one of the simplest ways to exercise. Best of all, walking is free. If you'd prefer a treadmill or elliptical to work out indoors it works just as well, and you won't have to deal with unpredictable weather.

Swimming and Gentle Yoga

Not everyone can do cardio due to age or certain health conditions, but they can still stay as active as possible by trying lower-impact workouts or slower activities if their doctor recommends it. Swimming and certain variations of yoga, especially gentle yoga, are easier on the joints than many other workouts. Almost anyone can do these choices because they aren't high-impact or strenuous. There are different types of yoga so choose one that is in line with your abilities when starting out. Free instructional videos can be found online but yoga studios or a gym with a pool are options if you are more social or would prefer in-person instruction.

Body Weight Moves, Machines or Free Weights

Many people are intimidated by the thought of lifting weights but there are plenty of benefits even if sticking to light weight training. Benefits can be achieved at home alone or in a gym setting with a personal trainer, and with or without equipment. Basic moves like squats, push-ups or other body weight moves don't cost anything. Using bands to increase resistance are a much cheaper option than investing in machines or free weights for a home gym, but a public gym or local community center are affordable options, and many offer a free personal training session for new clients.

Everyone starts somewhere and even those who haven't exercised in a long time (or possibly ever, for some people) will benefit from physical activity. Taking it slow to get your body used to working out is a good idea. Begin with a few minutes and add more time if it's comfortable. If you feel any discomfort, take it slower and try a different type of exercise or do it for a shorter period of time.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Chicago, Ill.

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