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    Getting Fit For Life

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    You know it's important to keep moving, no matter how old you are. Exercise keeps your body and your brain healthy.

    But why do you need to move? And what's the best way to do it?

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    Why Exercise Matters

    There are many reasons you should stay physically active, especially if you want to live a long life.

    It can help:

    • Keep your bones, muscles, and joints healthy
    • Lower your chances of things like diabetes, colon cancer, and osteoporosis
    • Lower blood pressure
    • Manage stress and improve your mood
    • Ease symptoms of anxiety and depression
    • Lower your risk of heart disease
    • Manage chronic conditions like arthritis or diabetes, by improving symptoms like stamina, joint swelling, pain, and muscle strength
    • With balance, so you're less likely to fall and fracture bones

     

    How Much Exercise?

    Sometimes as you get older, you may be a bit fearful of exercise. Maybe you think you might hurt yourself. You may believe you have to join a gym. Or you may not be sure what exercises you should do.

    The key thing isn't how or where you get active, it's just to start moving.

    Healthy adults should shoot for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity, aerobic activity every week. Sure, you can do that in exercise classes. But you can also get it by brisk walking. It's also important to do movements that work all your major muscles at least 2 days a week. Also try to do flexibility exercises 2 or 3 days a week to improve your range of motion.

    Though 150 minutes sounds like a lot, you don't have to get it in big chunks. You can take a 10-minute walk around the block or spend 10 minutes sweeping the porch. It all adds up.

    Feeling really motivated? You'll get even more health benefits if you work up to 300 minutes or more of exercise a week.

    But a simple goal is to try to get 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most days. You may be able to do that on some weeks and not others. Remember, it's a goal and not a rule. Do what works for you.

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