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With some questionable health advice being posted by your friends on Facebook, politicians arguing about the state of the American healthcare system and a new medical study being summarized in just a sentence or two on TV---that seems to contradict the study you heard summarized yesterday---it can be overwhelming to navigate the ever-changing landscape of health news.

To Your Health: Best Ways to Start Exercising

According to The Global Health and Fitness Association, January is the busiest time of the year for gym owners and personal trainers. Were you one of the folks who recently signed up for a membership?

First off, if you want to start exercising to lose weight, know that in and of itself, physical activity doesn’t necessarily generate significant weight loss. The American Medical Association reports physical activity helps us to maintain our weight, which is still important. In addition, staying active is one of the best ways to keep your body healthy. It can improve your overall well-being and quality of life by relieving stress, anxiety, depression, and anger, as well as help reverse prediabetes and lower blood pressure. Perhaps keeping this in mind will help you find a physical activity that is right for you in the long term, rather than looking for a quick fix. Set a goal for the kind of output you want to generate: maybe being able to walk all day on an upcoming Disney vacation or take a weekend hike with your kids.

Aiming for 150 minutes of moderate activity—the kind of activity where you could talk but not sing– is a great weekly goal. You can get these minutes doing anything you enjoy: biking, walking, or a water aerobics class. Lindsey Vonn, author of Strong is the New Beautiful, urges people to try any workout at least four times before deciding if it’s a good fit..If nothing excites you, think outside the gym to outdoor sports and dance classes that you might enjoy.




Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs is an assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, Middle & Secondary Education. She writes for special publications of The Southeast Missourian and is a certified Community Health Worker.