5 surprising workouts that are best for your health according to Harvard
Walking – This activity may seem like a no-brainer, but as Business Insider reports, some studies have found that walking for at least 30 minutes at a leisurely pace can help boost your memory and reduce depression. For those who don’t exercise regularly, Harvard suggests starting off with 10- to 15-minute strolls and building up to 30- to 60-minute walks.
Tai chi –A Chinese martial and meditative art that involves a series of gentle and flowing movements, this ancient practice emphasizes deep focus and paying attention to breathing. Lee writes that tai chi is “particularly good for older people because balance is an important component of fitness, and balance is something we lose” as we age.
Swimming – Harvard’s Healthbeat newsletter calls swimming “the perfect workout,” all thanks to its ability to work almost every muscle in your body. From protecting your brain from signs of aging to raising your heart rate, this aerobic workout also reduces potential injuries “because it’s less weight bearing,” Lee writes in a recent issue of the newsletter.
Strength training – At its most basic, strength training involves using weight to create resistance against the pull of gravity. That weight can be your own body, free weights like barbells or dumbbells, elastic bands, or weighted ankle cuffs. Research suggests you can use either heavy weights and a small number of reps or lighter weights and more reps to build stronger, more sturdy muscles.
Kegel exercises – These execises are important for both men and women because they help to strengthen a group of muscles commonly referred to as the “pelvic floor.” As we age, these muscles — which include the uterus, bladder, small intestine, and rectum — can start to weaken. But keeping them resilient can have important benefits, ranging from preventing embarrassing accidents like bladder leakage to the accidental passing of gas.
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