Being Physically Active is Important to Your Health
Along with good nutrition, good exercise habits provide important health benefits that allow you to enjoy each and every moment. From maintaining muscle to providing a stress-reduction outlet, exercise is a key component to overall mental and physical health. BOOST® Nutritional Drinks are great snacks before or after physical activity, to help replenish the nutrients your body has used.
Just remember to get a complete checkup and guidelines from your doctor before beginning any physical activity or exercise program so you get started the right way.
Flexibility Exercises (Stretching)
Stretching extends your body's various bending points. The potential benefits are greater mobility, improved balance, and less muscle strain. It’s an important part of warming up, so stretch before any type of exercise or activity. It can also be excellent all by itself—especially if you want to start slowly. Yoga and T'ai Chi are both activities that focus on flexibility.
Resistance Exercises (Strength)
Resistance exercises are designed to help build muscle strength. Any activity involving lifting, pulling, or pushing generally falls in this category. Gardening and many household chores offer good resistance exercises. So do climbing stairs, bicycling, rowing, and swimming. For more resistance exercises you can do in the water, see the next section.
Water Resistance Exercises
Swimming is not the only way to exercise in a pool. The natural resistance of water to your movements helps stimulate your muscle activity, and because of the body's natural buoyancy, these exercises put minimal strain on the joints, ligaments, and muscles.
To exercise arms and shoulders, stand neck-deep with your arms stretched out to both sides. Bring them together in front of you, keeping them straight as you touch your hands. Then bring them back out to the sides and repeat.
To exercise your legs, try the "rocking horse." With your right leg raised and bent at the knee, push off with the left leg and land on the right. Then push back with the right leg, landing on the left. Repeat the exercise for several repetitions.
Of course, never take water for granted. Familiarize yourself with the depth marking before you enter the pool. Even if you're a good swimmer, it's best to have a lifeguard on duty.
Aerobic Exercises (Endurance)
Endurance or aerobic exercises are activities—walking, jogging, swimming, raking, sweeping, dancing, playing tennis—that increase your heart rate and breathing for an extended period of time. They will make it easier for you to walk farther, faster, or uphill. They also should make everyday activities such as gardening, shopping, or playing a sport easier.
If you haven’t been active for a long time, it’s especially important to work your way up over time. It may take a while to go from a longstanding inactive lifestyle to doing some endurance activities. For example, start out with 5 or 10 minutes at a time, and then build up to at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity endurance activity on most or all days of the week.
You should consult your doctor before beginning an endurance or aerobic exercise program, and start out slowly.