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Exercise - The Magic Bullet

Exercise – The Magic Bullet

What is the Magic Bullet?

Exercise Is The Key To Lifelong Well-being

People tend to think of an “elixir of life” as medicine in a bottle, a “magic bullet” as some kind of a pill, and the “fountain of youth” as mystical waters. But exercise may come closer than anything else we know as the best way to become and stay beautiful, strong, healthy, energetic, and happy. It may be the single best route to a long and active life.

Exercise Your Right To A Healthy… Mind, Body & Spirit

You Can Count On It...

Benefits Of Exercise Add Up

YOUTHFUL APPEARANCE:Exercise helps keep your body trim, your muscles toned, your posture straight and tall, your complexion clear and glowing.

STRENGTH: Exercise helps build strong muscles and bones and maintains healthy joints.

ENERGY, STAMINA: A regular exercise program, rather than exhausting you, gives you more energy and staying-power—not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally.

MOBILITY: Exercise helps keep you moving. The ability to move about is critical for living independently and remaining able to do what you want, when you want.

SAFETY:Exercise keeps your reflexes alert and your muscles ready to respond so you might avoid and recover quickly from accidents, falls, injuries, and illnesses.

DISEASE TREATMENT AND PREVENTION: Exercise can help prevent or treat many diseases such as stroke, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and osteoporosis. Check with your doctor to make sure your exercise program is right for you.

WEIGHT CONTROL:Exercise not only burns calories, it also tunes up your metabolism to better use nutrients. Studies show that in the long run exercise may be even more effective than diet in weight loss. In addition, exercise helps you look better, regardless of how much you weigh.

ATTITUDE: Regular exercise goes a long way toward imparting a strong sense of well-being, a positive outlook and a feeling of “can-do” confidence.

EMOTIONAL RESILIENCE, PSYCHOLOGICAL BALANCE:Ever feel so frustrated or angry you just want to punch the wall or run the other way? Channel that impulse into exercise. Exercise is a great way to cool off and get a grip when you’re stressed out.

MENTAL ALERTNESS: As is evident in any heated basketball game, tennis match or dance performance, exercise tunes up your reflexes, reaction time, and ability to process information. Exercise helps you wake up in the morning and stay awake until bedtime.

FLEXIBILITY:Physical activity enhances your ability to bend and stretch and avoid strains and stiffness.

Getting Started

Picking the right activity for your exercise program is important. In fact, if you find the activity that’s perfect for you­, you will get fit, become happier, and stay active for a lifetime. Take a moment to think about these points when you start planning your exercise routine.

Safety First!

Check with your doctor before you begin to exercise or dramatically change your exercise levels. If you have any medical conditions—such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis/joint problems, osteoporosis (brittle bones), dizziness, epilepsy, pregnancy—make it a point to get in touch with your doctor before getting started.

How Much Exercise Is Right For Me?

Any amount of regular exercise is better than none. And exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous or exhausting to be beneficial.

  • It’s best to start exercising modestly and gradually increase the duration and intensity based on your fitness level.
  • In fact, like most anything else, too much exercise (to the point of injury, exhaustion or obsession), can lead to ill effects. Forget about “no pain, no gain.” Exercise is about joy, satisfaction, accomplishment, and feeling good.

Take The Hurdles In Stride

No one can exercise for you—you have to do it for yourself. Even if you hire a personal trainer to show you what to do and to help you do it, you’re the one who has to expend the effort if you hope to collect the rewards.

Items To Consider When Preparing Your Exercise Routine... The Exercise Checklist

  • Convenience: Make sure you can get to your workout quickly, easily, and regularly.
  • Accommodates Your Schedule: If exercise is going to be a part of your life, it must be built into your daily routine. Schedule your workouts into your daily calendar and stick to those “appointments.”
  • Affordable: What is your budget? Exercise can range from free and inexpensive (walking, community facilities) to extremely costly investments in equipment, fees, travel, and preparation.
  • Practical: How well will the activities you’re considering fit into your schedule and lifestyle? Consider whether your sport involves special clothing or equipment, transporting and storing equipment, changing clothes and showering, and whether you can comfortably accommodate those needs.
  • Time Commitment: Some people only have time for two 15-minute workouts a day. Others welcome all-day events or even week-long adventures. Make sure you have enough time to participate in the activities you enjoy.
  • Consistency: Be sure your program includes some form of exercise several times a week or shorter bouts several times a day.
  • Year-Round: Aim for exercise or a complementary group of exercises that enables you to remain active in every season.

Exercise Options

Consider the following possibilities as your main or supplemental exercise choices:

  • Walking Or Running: Can be done anywhere, year-round, indoors or out; safe and beneficial for virtually all ages and physical conditions.
  • Swimming And Water Exercise: Great total body aerobic and muscle workout; can be year-round indoors; especially good for people with arthritis and joint or mobility problems, pregnant women—and an important safety skill for all ages.
  • Exercise Classes: Year-round, indoor, instructors on-hand, something for all ranges of abilities, fitness, interests, goals; variety ranges from step classes, stretching, yoga, and relaxation.
  • Dancing:Gets you moving while having fun and socializing; ranges from folk, square, and ballroom dancing classes to jazz, tap, funk, and ballet. You can also try “cutting a rug” in the privacy of your home.
  • Weight Training: Ranges from strengthening and conditioning to body-building; year-round, indoors, studies show benefits for bone health and strength.
  • Exercise Videos or Apps: The options are practically endless. Search for programs or apps that you can download to your mobile phone or ask some friends for their recommendations. There are several programs, videos, and apps readily available!
  • Rethink Everyday Routines: Try walking instead of driving, or parking at a distance and walking the rest of the way; take the stairs instead of the elevator; do household chores and yard work; stroll down the hall to visit colleagues instead of phoning or e-mailing. As long as you’re moving, it counts as exercise.

Which Exercise?

Exercise can only do you good if you do it. It’s important to choose an exercise regimen you can follow on a regular basis, several times a week, year in and out. The Surgeon General suggests “moderate” exercise for people of all ages at all fitness levels. This includes, for example, gardening, stair-walking, or washing your car for 10 to 15 minutes here and there. That’s moderate exercise.

  • HOW MUCH? Being a “weekend warrior” who plays basketball at full throttle on Saturdays and sits around on other days is not the way to go. It’s better to fit other activities in between, or opt for an activity you can do more frequently. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week.
  • HOW OFTEN? Just walking a short time every day or every other day is a great start. Depending on your age, health, and other circumstances, you can stick with that or start building time, speed and distance, add in other activities, or switch to more challenging sports.
  • BRING A FRIEND. Joining an exercise program (gym, group, class, club) can help you get going and stick with it by providing companionship, encouragement, and structure.
  • EXPERIMENT. Try new things—even if you think you might not like them. Sample different local gyms and fitness classes. Rent a bike, skates, or canoe for a day. Ask friends to let you accompany them when they exercise.
  • BE REALISTIC. Although skiing in the Rockies can be exhilarating, it’s not likely to be something you can do year-round, several times a week. Consider how you can weave together one or more activities that fit into your lifestyle.

For More Information

American Council on Exercise

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


WELCOA (Wellness Council of America
17002 Marcy Street, Suite 140
Omaha, NE 68118
Phone: (402) 827-3590


©2014 Wellness Councils of America

The information contained in this brochure has been carefully reviewed for accuracy. It is not intended to replace the advice of your physician or health care provider.