Exercise to Stay Healthy: Brief Version

How does exercise help me stay healthy?

Exercise helps both your body and your mind. It helps lower your risk of disease. It helps you feel better.

When you exercise every day or even 4 to 5 times a week, you can lower your chances of having:

  • A stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes

Exercise can lower your:

  • Blood pressure
  • Blood cholesterol
  • Blood sugar

Exercise helps your mood. It changes how you feel. Exercise helps you:

  • Have more energy.
  • Sleep better.
  • Deal with stress.

How do I start to exercise?

Always check with your healthcare provider before you start an exercise program. If you have any health problems, talk to your provider about what exercises would be right for you.

Choose exercises that:

  • You enjoy.
  • Fit into your schedule.
  • Take into account any health problems you have.

What types of exercises should I do?

Types of exercise that are good for you are:

  • Stretching. It helps the muscles be less tight.
  • Lifting weights. It helps you make your muscles stronger.
  • Doing aerobic exercise. It gives your lungs and heart a good workout. It makes your heart, lungs, and muscles stronger.

There are many kinds of aerobic exercises. For example, you can:

  • Walk
  • Swim
  • Run
  • Bicycle
  • Dance

Right after you exercise, cool down for 5 to 10 minutes. Slow down what you have been doing. Or you can walk to help you cool down. When you cool down, you help:

  • Your heart rate and breathing go back to normal.
  • Keep your muscles from getting stiff.

Talk to your healthcare provider about what kind of exercise is best for you. Also ask how much you should exercise. For many people it is good to do aerobic exercise 2 and a half hours a week. For example, you could walk fast for 30 minutes a day. You don’t need to do 30 minutes all at once. You could do 10 minutes at a time.

Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2012-04-10
Last reviewed: 2014-02-20
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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