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Fitness Challenge: Get Toned, Be Strong and Graceful

By Sandy Schroeder

The urge to exercise often comes up in the midst of our complicated lives, but sticking with those exercises is a challenge. Just when you think you have it all working, new deadlines, family demands or home issues pop up and slow you down.

What to Do?

Harvard Health says you can win the bet. You can tone muscles throughout the body as you target arms, legs, belly and bottom. When you do, you will feel more energetic to whip through daily tasks, and still manage a run or a brisk walk.

Harvard doctors say you just need 30 minutes a day to get stronger, boost overall health and establish a daily routine that really works.

Here are the goals to consider as you create a routine.

Power up - Match strength and balance exercises to work the same muscles that you use in normal activities and favorite sports.

Simplify daily tasks - Work on the upper body to strengthen arms, shoulders and back. Then daily chores will be easier as you tote the laundry or groceries, clean the house or handle toddlers.

Avoid injuries and back pain - Choose exercises to strengthen core muscles to protect the back and escape painful injuries.

Accelerate running and walking - Choose workouts for hamstrings, quads, and glutes to perform better out there and minimize injuries.

Focus on cardio fitness - Support your heart health and underscore overall health with specific aerobics.

Getting Down to Specifics

As always, when you consider new exercises, check with your doctor first. Then match goals to needs. Take a look at the fitness choices that you enjoy and can do every day. While you are at it, think about linking them with your spouse and kids.

Tai chi classes - Follow an online teacher as you use today's version of this graceful ancient practice to exercise the whole body and lift spirits.

Yoga - Use morning, evening or daytime sessions to strengthen the body and soothe the mind. Your body will be more toned and your balance, mood and posture will improve.

Walking - Walk with your spouse or kids around the neighborhood or to the park, morning, afternoon or evening, whenever you need to take a break.

Bike everywhere - Bike instead of driving wherever possible and use your bike to enjoy being outdoors and exercising.

Strengthen and stretch - Create a series of routines to do warm-up stretches and muscle-building moves to do during the day as work-time breaks.

Whatever you do to make 30 minutes of fitness effort happen every day will pay off with more strength, calmness, focus and flexibility.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Saint Peters, Mo.

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