What Are Two of the Best Physical Workouts? – Harvard

No matter what your level of fitness or age, these activities can help you get in shape and lower your risk of disease, so says Harvard Healthbeat from Harvard Medical School.

In their latest publication, Exercise, they write that you don’t have to be an athlete or serious exerciser to get into shape.

“…some of the best physical activities for your body don’t require the gym or that you get fit enough to run a marathon. These ‘workouts’ can do wonders for your health. They’ll help keep your weight under control, improve your balance and range of motion, strengthen your bones, protect your joints, prevent bladder control problems, and even ward off memory loss.

“No matter your age or fitness level, these activities can help you get in shape and lower your risk for disease:

“1.Swimming. You might call swimming the perfect workout. The buoyancy of the water supports your body and takes the strain off painful joints so you can move them more fluidly. “Swimming is good for individuals with arthritis because it’s less weight bearing,” explains Dr. I-Min Lee, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

“Research finds that swimming can improve your mental state and put you in a better mood. Water aerobics is another option. These classes help you burn calories and tone up.

“2.Tai Chi. Tai chi — a Chinese martial art that incorporates movement and relaxation — is good for both body and mind. In fact, it’s been called “meditation in motion.”

“Tai chi is made up of a series of graceful movements, one transitioning smoothly into the next. Because the classes are offered at various levels, tai chi is accessible, and valuable, for people of all ages and fitness levels. “It’s particularly good for older people because balance is an important component of fitness, and balance is something we lose as we get older,” Dr. Lee says.

“Take a class to help you get started and learn the proper form. You can find tai chi programs at your local YMCA, health club, community center, or senior center.”

You can order the full Harvard write up at the link above.

I like the combination of aerobics and strength and balance in these nominations. I am currently doing cycling and yoga on the same principles.

I think it is important to remember that aerobic activities like cycling and swimming provide wonderful benefits for the body as well as the brain, but they don’t strengthen your bones and protect you against osteoporosis. You must do weight-bearing exercise for that.

Eat less; move more; live longer.



Filed under aging, arthritis, biking, brain, Exercise, happiness, tai chi, Weight

3 responses to “What Are Two of the Best Physical Workouts? – Harvard

  1. I have to agree because over the last seven years, tai chi/qigong has opened my body, mind , and inner self, to heights I never even knew existed:) Great post and thanks for showing that fitness can be done without weights and a treadmill:))


  2. Mike Dwyer

    I would take skipping with a heavy rope over tai chi.


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