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4 Key Choices to Let You Exercise Wherever You Want

By Sandy Schroeder

Most of us have the message that we need to keep moving and exercise daily to preserve our health and our mobility, but sometimes we want the best answers with the most flexibility.

If you can relate, Harvard Health has come up with some smart choices that don't require gyms, or tons of equipment, and they can be done by all ages and fitness levels. Take a look at what they do.

  • They improve balance and range of motion
  • They strengthen bones
  • They help maintain a good weight
  • They protect joints
  • They help us stay mentally sharp

As always, check with your doctor before launching a new exercise routine.

Power up with strength training - Instead of lifting weights at the gym, or using a variety of machines, you can set up your own weightlifting routine at home. Start gradually with small weights of one or two pounds. You should be able to lift them easily. Then increase the weights by a pound or two. You may want to work with a trainer to start to perfect your form.

Dive right in - Warm water in an indoor pool can be the perfect way to exercise painful joints. The water helps support your body, and the warmth relaxes the muscles. Later you may want to move on to water aerobics to tone the body and burn calories.

Walk off with a lot of benefits - Walking has to be the most flexible exercise of all. You can do it anywhere, anytime, indoors or out, to strengthen muscles and bones, lower cholesterol and reduce the risk for diabetes, some cancers, and heart disease or stroke. Researchers say study groups also show improved memory and spirit. Get some supportive shoes and get going with two 15-minute or one 30-minute daily walk.

Meditate as you move with tai chi - This gentle swaying Chinese martial art consists of a series of gentle movements that blend into each other. Classes are available for all ages, and many work well for seniors who are dealing with arthritis, balance, or range of motion issues. Check online or see if your community offers classes.

 Whatever you choose, enjoy the freedom, and pick ones that appeal to you. If none of the above work, keep in mind you can stay active with home tasks, playing with kids and pets at the park, or heading out for a night of dancing. If you are in motion for 30 minutes or more and you add some weekly strength training you will be on target with current federal guidelines.

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

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