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004 Exercise 30 min 3x a week


              Exercise is important to keep your heart upbeat, muscles and bones strong, mind bright and body healthy. Moreover, exercising regularly lowers your risk of developing heart diseases, cancer, diabetes and many other illnesses. Exercise at least 30 min three times per week to see the difference.


Exercise to live longer

              Regular exercise significantly lowers your risk for all manner of diseases, particularly those of the heart. It helps control blood pressure, body weight and cholesterol levels, and reduces the risks of hardening of the arteries, heart attack and stroke. Moreover, exercise can help you maintain normal body weight and can make you look and feel better as you live a longer life!

Work out regularly, and be sure to combine stretching for flexibility, aerobics for endurance and weight training for strength (See table 4 for a typical exercise regimen).

              Running that extra mile each day can reduce a man's risk of dying of prostate cancer. Men who do heart-pounding or intense exercise are less likely to develop cancer, apparently due to higher rate of oxygen consumption.19 A study in Japan showed that women who are very active were 16% less likely to develop any type of cancer over a period of 5-10 yrs. The most active males dropped their risk by about 13%.


Table 4. Typical exercise regimen.


Time needed: popular exercises


5-10 min: low intensity movements that simulates actual exercise movements; slow jogging; trunk rotation; stretching

Muscular strength

20 min: exercises for all major muscle groups; weight lifting

Muscular endurance

30 min: weight training pushups, sit-ups & pull-ups; calisthenics

Cardiorespiratory endurance

20 min: continuous aerobic; brisk walking; jogging, swimming; cycling; rope-jumping; rowing & some continuous action games like basketball & football.


10 min: stretching exercises performed slowly

Cool down

5-10 min: slow walking, low-level exercise combined with stretching

Sources include: Guidelines for personal exercise program (fitness.gov; retrieved April 22, 2010)


Exercise improves cognitive ability and mental health

              It has been known that moderate exercise improves your mental abilities such as your ability to learn and understand things. More recent studies also showed that moderate physical activity in midlife reduces risk of mild cognitive impairment20 and slows down the decline in cognitive functions due to old age.10 Exercise might also be protective against Parkinsonfs disease, according to a study.21


Warm up and cool down

              Regardless of the types of exercises you do, warming up your muscles and joints in preparation of workout as well as cooling down with slow rhythmic stretches are key to avoiding injury, reducing soreness, and speeding up your recovery.

              If you are doing your workout in the morning, be sure to have adequate warming up. If you do your work out in the evening, make sure to have adequate cooling down after the exercise and before going to bed.


Wellness programs

              Workplace wellness programs, that include regular physical activity, are effective ways to reduce major risk factors for heart disease.


Warning: Please consult your physician before beginning any vigorous exercise program.


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