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Men: Exercise Can Do a Lot More For You Than Build Muscle

Exercise Can Help Prevent Health Threats

Along with other healthy lifestyle choices, the right kinds of physical activity can help prevent health threats. Aerobic exercise such as walking, swimming, running or biking strengthens your heart and lowers your blood pressure. You should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity five days per week. You don’t have to do it all at once, three 10-minute walks can be as effective as one 30-minute walk at lowering blood pressure.

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Exercise may help prevent certain types of cancer, research shows. If you already exercise 30 minutes most days of the week, work your way up to a full hour. Logging 300 minutes of activity per week may provide additional benefits. If that’s too much, just do as much as you can.

Exercise programs that include balance training could prevent up to 42 percent of falls, studies show. Consider taking a class in Tai Chi, a martial art that helps improve balance and coordination, or try this balance move:

  • Stand behind a sturdy chair.
  • Holding the back of the chair, raise up onto your toes.
  • Pause for one second.
  • Lower your heels to the floor.
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times about twice a week.

Consider joining the millions of Americans practicing yoga. By combining breathing techniques with various poses, yoga has been shown to renew the mind and the body. It also builds flexibility while improving strength and balance. Research has shown that yoga practice can help reduce stress and anxiety. It may help relieve some symptoms associated with heart disease and cancer. It’s also an effective complementary therapy for asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, neck and back pain and arthritis.

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When putting together your plan, keep in mind a complete exercise program should include cardio, strength training and flexibility exercises. Even if you can’t fit in a set fitness routine every day, keep your body moving most days for better health and to lower your risk of serious illness and injury.

To access the full article for the benefits of exercise on men’s health, click here.

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In partnership with the YMCA, Hally health focuses on a variety of topics aimed at people of any age or fitness level who want to stay healthy and active. Try this sports cardio workout, that’s sure to get your heart pumping. To view all of our YMCA partnership fitness videos throughout the month, please visit hally.com.

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