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Staying Physically Active Leads to Better Health by Linda Lackey

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From the moment of conception, certain family genes we possibly have inherited have the potential to affect our health from the very beginning and continue to affect us throughout our lives. Regardless of what health issues may confront us, i.e. diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension, we have the ability to make choices that could help ease, improve, and even possibly eliminate these predetermined health issues. Just by staying moderately physically active throughout our lifetime, we have the potential to achieve positive effects in maintaining our health.

Staying physically active does not require one to maintain a vigorous exercise program such as aerobic workouts, rope jumping, or playing contact sports like soccer or football. Some individuals will have the motivation, time, and money to have their own personal trainer, join a gym, or purchase in-home workout stations, but one does not have to purchase these items in order to stay physically active. Moderate physical activity will provide a sufficient means for health benefits as well. Simply by taking neighborhood walks, leisurely riding a bike, light gardening, and even certain forms of dancing, an individual can stay physically active and reap the health benefits as well.

In today’s society, most individuals find their lives to be overextended with career and family commitments and thus make it harder to find time for any form of exercise. However, if a person would work in some form of physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day, every day, they would improve his or her overall health.  If working in physical activity for a consecutive 30-minute time slot becomes a hardship, then break the time slot into two 15-minute intervals or three 10-minute intervals. Exercising in small increments is still better than not exercising at all.  Physical activities can help improve a person’s health by helping control their weight, maintain their blood pressure, lowering bad cholesterol, improve muscle strength, reduce stress, improve emotional well-being, and even increase the amount of sleep they get. Staying physically active can also help ward off other diseases and viruses.

On my mother’s side of the family, we have a long history of heart disease. My grandfather died of a heart attack when he was 54; my mother died at 42 and her brother at 19 from heart failure. I was diagnosed with a cardiomyopathy that went into heart failure when I was 38. I received excellent medical care which has allowed me to not only recover but also to resume a normal lifestyle. Three years after my illness surfaced, my son (who was 21 years old at the time) went into heart failure and ended up having a heart transplant. Prior to our illnesses, both of us were very physically active and in good health which I feel helped, us survive and recover. Today we are both healthy and living normal, active lives. Although my period of extreme aerobic exercise is over, I stay physically active through swing dancing, walking my boxer, physically playing with my grandchildren, and doing some low-impact workouts.

If you are not presently involved in an exercise program then find an activity that you enjoy and make it part of your life.  If you truly love or enjoy a particular activity it will not seem like a chore but more like a hobby   Anyone can be physically active but it is up to an individual and/or his o her doctor to determine how intense this activity should be. I hope you have found the information in this article to not only be interesting but enlightening and will incorporate some form of daily activities into your schedule to help maintain a long and healthy life.





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