If exercising is one of your resolutions for 2023, you may be interested in this study by Harvard Medical School, which lists the 5 best physical activities for you. “These ‘exercises’ can do wonders for your health. They will help you manage your weight, improve your balance and range of motion, strengthen your bones, protect your joints, and even prevent memory loss. School, Harvard Health Publishing. “No matter your age or fitness level, these activities are some of the best exercise you can do and will help you get in shape and reduce your risk of disease.” Right time? “If you do at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day and include strength training two days a week, you can consider yourself an ‘active’ person.” According to Harvard Medical School. So let’s go!
The 5 most beneficial physical activities for health
According to several studies, swimming is the best sport. Especially thanks to the buoyancy of the water, which supports the body and softens the intensity of the activity in the joints. Because of this, the movements are more fluid and less brutal. Harvard Medical School professor of medicine Dr. “Swimming is good for people with arthritis because it allows them to bear less weight,” says Yi-Min Lee. It also requires (and tones) all the muscles in the body. Regular long runs promise to increase strength, metabolism and fitness while working on breathing. As an aerobic activity, it improves cardiovascular health. Another water diving option: aquagym.
2. Tai Chi
Called “moving meditation,” this Chinese martial art combines gentle movement and relaxation. Using fluid and organic gestures, a tai chi session gently works all the muscles and calms the mind. It is an activity that is accessible to everyone, regardless of age or physical condition. But as Dr Lee points out, it’s especially useful for older people: “Because balance is an important part of fitness, and balance is something we lose as we age.”
3. Physical education
Harvard experts don’t promote excessive muscle mass by lifting weights, they simply work to increase its strength. “If you don’t use your muscles, they will lose strength over time,” says Dr. Lee. Another benefit: “The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, so it’s easier to keep your weight off,” says Dr. Lee. “Strength training may also help protect brain function in old age,” the site says. But be sure to start small and increase the weights: “Start light, just a pound or two. You should be able to lift weights 10 times comfortably. After a few weeks, increase the weight by a pound or two. If you can easily lift weights with a range of motion greater than 12 times, move up to slightly heavier weights.
This is without a doubt the simplest physical activity to integrate into your daily life. However, Harvard Medical School is ranked fourth. “Walking is a simple but powerful exercise. It can help you stay fit, improve cholesterol levels, strengthen your bones, control your blood pressure, improve your mood, and reduce your risk of a number of diseases (such as diabetes and heart disease).” According to Harvard Health Publishing. “Several studies have shown that walking and other physical activities can even improve memory and counteract age-related memory loss.” After wearing sneakers, walk for 10-15 minutes. Then, increase to 30-69 minutes a few times a week to get the full benefit.
5. Kegel exercises
Less well-known Kegel exercises are nevertheless in the top 5 established by Harvard Medical School. Their strong point? “Strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder.” Indeed, according to Harvard Health Publishing, “strong pelvic floor muscles can go a long way in preventing urinary incontinence.” And make no mistake, this activity is not for women. Instructions? “To do a Kegel exercise correctly, tense the muscles you will use to stop urination. Hold the contraction for two or three seconds, then release. After the contraction, make sure to completely relax the pelvic floor muscles. Repeat the exercise 10 times. Aim for four to five sets a day.” YouTube videos can guide you through the practice.
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