Work it out: Exercise and fitness tips

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Exercising regularly has lots of great benefits for you both mentally and physically. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about exercise, your weight or your physical health.

Being physically active is an important part of being healthy. Exercising regularly has lots of great benefits for your mental and physical health as well as your self-esteem. Try new exercises or switch between activities you like to make your workout routine more interesting. If you have concerns about your physical health, check with a doctor about the best kind of exercise for you.

What are the benefits of exercise?

Staying physically active has a lot of health benefits. It’s also a great way to have fun and socialize with friends. People who aren’t physically active may develop health problems, like heart disease or depression.

Regular exercise can result in:

  • a stronger heart
  • better physical health
  • improved concentration
  • increased energy
  • improved mood
  • increased self-confidence

The “right” amount of exercise is different for everyone. If you’re worried you are exercising too much, or not enough, check in with your doctor. Excess exercise and attempts to control your weight may be signs of underlying issues such as low self-esteem or an eating disorder.

How do I start an exercise routine?

You don’t have to belong to a gym, play competitive sports or follow a demanding exercise schedule to be physically fit. You can add physical activity into your everyday routine.

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Keep it short: it only takes one hour of physical activity a day to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This hour can be broken down into shorter periods of physical activity throughout the day.
  • Switch it up: vary the type of exercise you do. You could try running, stretching, or lifting weights.
  • Keep moving: reduce your periods of inactivity. For example, try using the stairs instead of the elevator.

If you’re not sure what type of exercise is best for you, these places can help you find the right exercise program:

  • community drop-in centres
  • school athletics centres
  • neighbourhood sports teams
  • local gyms
  • dance studios
  • exercise videos
  • fitness apps

For the best workout, combine cardiovascular activities (like jogging or swimming) with strength training (weight machines or free weights).

Cardiovascular activities get your heart pumping, burn calories and fat and aid in weight loss. Strength training builds muscle, burns fat and calories and creates a stronger and more toned body.

How do I stay motivated to exercise?

It can be difficult to motivate yourself to work out if your exercise routine is boring and repetitive. Remember, exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous or dull in order for you to benefit from it. Any activity that gets your body moving will do.

Here are some ideas:

  • aerobics
  • lifting weights
  • jogging
  • dancing
  • yoga
  • team sports
  • swimming
  • walking
  • biking
  • rollerblading
  • jumping rope

Exercise is important for your physical and mental health and it can be really fun! Switch up your workout routine to stay motivated.