Exercise as Medicine

  We all know that exercise is good for our health, but what exactly does it mean to use exercise as medicine? Research has shown that exercise can help to prevent and manage chronic diseases and conditions. In many cases, with physician supervision, it can be used instead of or in conjunction with medication to maximize health benefits. How Can Exercise be Used as Medicine? The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) launched the Exercise is Medicine (EIM) initiative to emphasize the importance of physical activity on our overall health. While physical fitness is important for improving athletic performance, preventing injury, and building muscle, its benefits go far beyond this. Exercise is key for preventing and managing diseases like cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Research shows it can also help manage bone and joint health, mental health, cognitive [...]

Top Fitness Apps for 2023

  Welcome to a new year full of new goals! There’s an ever-increasing number of apps that bring fitness right to your fingertips. If you’re looking to establish or change up your exercise this year, we’ve got a list of the top fitness apps you’ll want to check out. AllTrails Available On: App Store & Google Play Price: Free Version or Pro Version for $35.99/Year AllTrails is an app for outdoor fitness lovers. Search and explore nearby trails for hiking, biking, and running. This app helps you find the perfect one to fit your needs, such as being dog-friendly, wheelchair and stroller accessible, or full of scenic attractions. Each trail has a difficulty rating, description, user reviews, full map, and directions to the trailhead. With over 350,000 trails on the app, you'll likely find just what you’re looking for. The [...]

5 Ways to Keep Your Exercise Consistent All Year

It’s hard enough to begin an exercise routine, let alone be consistent with one long-term. Between the change in seasons, fluctuating daylight hours, and holiday seasons, healthy habits can be hard to maintain. We’ve got five ways to help you stay on track with your exercise year-round. Plan Your Workout We often say things like, “I need to be more active” or “I need to be more consistent with my exercise.” But then, the next week rolls around, and we say the same thing. While these are admirable goals to have, action requires appropriate planning. Think about your week ahead and how you can plan specifically to fit in exercise. Plan the days, times, duration, and type of each workout. This gives you a clear picture of your exercise goals for the week. And you’ve already accounted for other obligations [...]

6 Ways to Exercise Sustainably

Did you know you can lend a hand in taking care of our environment by the way you exercise? Sustainability in our exercise starts with treating our resources responsibly. We’re taking a look at six ways we can exercise more sustainably. Drink from Reusable Water Bottles Proper hydration before, during, and after exercise is a necessity. However, plastic water bottles can pile up as waste in landfills. Less than one-third of plastic bottles actually get recycled (Beyond Plastics). Most reusable water bottles hold almost double the amount of water as a typical plastic bottle. This makes reusable water bottles not only a smart choice for the environment but a smart choice for your wallet too! Exercise Outdoors Use natural resources for your workout! Take a walk at a nearby park. Go hiking with friends or family members. Save money and [...]

Top 10 Ways to Practice Good Gym Hygiene & Etiquette

   Attending a local gym can be a great way to establish and maintain an exercise program. With many people coming and going throughout the facility in a day, it’s important to do your part in keeping it a safe and healthy environment. We’re going to take a closer look at the top 10 ways to practice good gym hygiene and etiquette. Wash Your Hands Wash your hands before and after your exercise session to avoid bringing germs in or out of the gym. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer or wipes in your gym bag for when you’re in a pinch. Wipe Down Equipment The number one way you can avoid germs and be courteous to others is to wipe down your equipment with provided disinfectants before and after you use it. Be cautious when spraying disinfectant around electronic [...]

Back to Exercise Basics

  So, you want to create an exercise habit, but this is a new area for you. Or maybe it’s just been a while since you’ve had a good, consistent routine. Class is officially in session, and we’re going to take a closer look at the basics of exercise. When you start with the building blocks that form a solid foundation, it is easier to begin and stick to your exercise goals long-term. What are the Recommendations? First, let’s review the Physical Activity Guidelines set by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the U.S. Department of Health. Adults are encouraged to participate in at least 150 – 300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic activity each week. A combination of varying intensities is beneficial as well. Additionally, adults are encouraged to incorporate muscle-strengthening exercises that [...]

Hydration, Electrolytes, and Exercise

  Hydration is a key factor when it comes to physical activity. Our bodies need adequate water intake to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, and bring important nutrients throughout your body for energy. When you’re not well-hydrated, it can greatly impact your performance with exercise, and even more importantly, it can take a toll on things like organ function and blood pressure. From light intensity to high intensity and on hot days and even cold days, it is imperative to practice good hydration before, during, and after exercise. What Factors Affect Hydration? Many factors can affect hydration during exercise and activity. During physical activity, your body loses fluid through sweat. Sweating can occur on hot summer days, as well as cold winter days, and every other day in between. Sweating can occur without it being visible. For example, did [...]

Great Ways to Exercise Outdoors

Summertime is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than getting outside. In fact, June is National Great Outdoors Month! This is a great time to explore our nation’s beautiful and numerous parks, trails, and natural wonders. Here are five ways to get moving in the great outdoors. Go for a Walk or Run Whether you are on a quick lunch break or training for a race, a walk or run around the block is a great way to be active this summer. Very minimal equipment is needed for this kind of exercise, making it easier to squeeze into your day. All you will need is a supportive pair of gym shoes, extra water for hydration, and sunscreen. If you’re on the go, consider a small running belt to bring along any additional items like your phone, [...]

Exercise and Mental Health

  Mental health is an important factor in overall wellness. Many Americans face mental health challenges daily, which magnifies the need for understanding and managing it. Exercise is proven to have many health benefits, both physically and mentally. Let’s take a closer look at how exercise can aid mental health. The Benefits The latest exercise guidelines published by the Department of Health and Human Services noted how physical activity has “brain health benefits, including possible improved cognitive function, reduced anxiety and depression risk, and improved sleep and quality of life.” Exercise increases the body’s production of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters help the body stabilize mood, feel more happy and motivated, and stay more focused (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Physical activity also releases endorphins, often referred to as the “feel-good” hormone, and are a natural pain killer for [...]

Move More Month-April

Did you know April is Move More Month? The American Heart Association (AHA) established this wellness campaign to raise awareness of the importance of physical activity. As nature is springing back to life this season, it’s time to relight our motivation for more movement.  How Much Exercise is Recommended? You might be wondering how much exercise is recommended. The American College of Sports Medicine and The Department of Health encourages adults to participate in at least 150 minutes of moderately intense aerobic activities along with at least two days of strength exercises each week. If you’re beginning, start small, then gradually work towards this amount. Even short bouts of activity can benefit your health! For more information on exercise recommendations for all ages and populations check out the Department of Health’s Guidelines HERE.  5 Ways to Sneak Movement into Your [...]