Maintaining Your Health with Exercise

– By guest blogger, Jim

Few investments improve a person’s health as much as the investment of time spent exercising. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise helps control weight, improves mood and increases energy levels with no dangerous side effects. People who exercise have a lower risk of many medical conditions including heart disease and high blood pressure compared to those that live a more sedentary life style. The major choice for many people is determining the best form of exercise.

Hitting the Gym

Many people choose to spend time at a commercial facility equipped with the latest in exercise equipment. These gyms often feature treadmills, exercise bikes, weights and ellipticals not available anywhere else. Commercial gyms commonly charge a fee that might not be affordable to all people. The gym experience can be social offering a chance to exercise with friends and coworkers.

Home Workouts

Nothing beats the convenience of exercising at home. Home gym equipment offers many of the same features as found on commercial gym equipment although most are built for lighter duty and would not stand up to the repeated use cycles of a commercial gym. Check classified ads and second hand stores for used exercise equipment. Try to find the best equipment that fits your budget.

Hit the Road

Not all exercise programs require a gym membership or home equipment. Running or walking both burn calories and offer all the benefits of any other exercise program. Incorporate walking into everyday activities like commuting to work or shopping during the lunch hour. Walking, rather than driving, produces the same health benefits of any other form of exercise without the cost of a gym membership or equipment. Adding ankle or wrist weights increases the benefit.

Keeping it Clean

Keep fit by keeping the house clean. Put some music on, something upbeat, and move vigorously from task to task around the home. It keeps the house in order and offers health benefits. Adding ankle and wrist weights improves the health aspects of the housecleaning workout. The housecleaning workout has one disadvantage. Workouts should increase in intensity over time. Unless you plan on cleaning the neighbor’s home this usually isn’t possible.


Sports provide the exercise of a workout disguised as a competition. Look for a sport that holds your interest and provides the right level of intensity. For example, someone starting to workout might find a triathlon to intense. Look for recreational leagues in your community and find a team that you would enjoy being around. In many cases, participation in a sport encourages other forms of exercise in order to increase abilities for the competition.

Make sure you are healthy before beginning any new exercise activity. Start slow and build intensity as the workouts progress. The old adage “no pain, no gain,” is best ignored. Some stiffness and soreness is always expected but sharp pains are the body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Seek medical attention for any potential injury.