The information contained on this site provides general exercise guidelines. However, your health care provider may recommend other guidelines, based on your personal needs and medical condition.
Help your health.
Exercise has numerous health benefits. It increases your energy level and endurance, strengthens muscles, lowers blood pressure, regulates your metabolism, lowers your risk for heart disease, reduces stress, improves your appetite and improves your sleep pattern.
- Exercise regularly. To improve cardiovascular fitness, you should perform aerobic activities at least three times a week for 20 to 30 minutes. Swimming, walking, jogging, jumping rope, bicycling, cross-country skiing, skating, rowing and aerobic dancing are just some examples of aerobic activities you can do.
- Always check with your health care provider first before starting an exercise program. Your health care provider can help you find a program that matches your needs and physical condition.
- Listen to your body. Do not ignore pain; discontinue any exercise that causes unexpected pain. If you continue to perform the activity while you are in pain, you may cause unnecessary stress or damage to your joints.
- Take time to include a five-minute warm-up, including stretching exercises, before any aerobic activity, and include a five- to 10-minute cool down after the activity.
- Have fun. Choose an activity that you enjoy. You’ll be more likely to stick with a program if you enjoy the activity. Make exercise a lifetime commitment.
- You can add strengthening and flexibility exercises to your regular routine. A program of strengthening, stretching and aerobic exercise will improve your overall fitness level. Strengthening exercises help increase muscle tone and improve muscle strength; flexibility exercises protect your joints to help prevent injury.
- When performing strengthening and flexibility exercises, maintain good posture to protect your back. Make sure your movements are controlled and slow; avoid quick, jerking movements.
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