UACES Facebook Physical Activity and Exercise
skip to main content

Physical Activity and Exercise

Regular physical activity is important to both physical and mental health regardless of your age, size or shape.

Hot Springs, Ark. – Regular physical activity is important to both physical and mental health regardless of your age, size or shape.  What exactly is physical activity?  It is any body movement that requires you to work your muscles and use more energy than when your resting.  Take it one step further and exercise.  Exercise is a type of physical activity that is planned, structured, and lasts for an extended period of time, usually ten minutes or longer.

Why is physical activity important?  Physical activity has many physical and mental benefits.

  • Strengthens bones and muscles
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Maintains or increases range of motion and flexibility
  • Reduces the risk of preventable chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and osteoporosis
  • Improves cognitive function, mood and depression
  • Increases energy
  • Promotes restful sleep
  • Reduces the risk of falling

Physical activity and exercise can fall into four categories: aerobic, strength training, balance and stretching.  Many people will focus on only one type.  To receive the full benefits, incorporate all four into your weekly routine. 

Aerobic activity improves the health of your heart, lungs and circulatory system.  It can also improve stamina and your ability to do daily activities.  Aerobic activity can be low, mid or high intensity and includes activities such as walking, jogging, sports, dancing, swimming and biking.

Strength training makes your bones and muscles stronger and reduces the progression of osteoporosis.  Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the bones to become brittle and weak.  Strength training can be weight bearing exercises such as push ups and squats or you can use equipment such as free weights, resistance bands and strength training machines.

Balance exercises help to prevent falls.  Some balance exercises improve the strength in your legs, feet and ankles and some improve stability.  Examples of balance exercise include front and side leg raises, toe stands, and the tree pose.

Stretching improves your range of motion and helps to keep your body flexible.  Stretching exercises can make it easier to do daily activities such as reaching overhead, looking over your shoulder, and bending over to tie your shoes. 

Regular physical activity and exercise throughout your lifespan is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health.  Try to be active most days of the week. 

For more information on Keys to Embracing Aging, contact the Garland County Extension Office at 623-6841 or 922-4703, email Jessica at jvincent@uaex.edu, or visit our website at www.uaex.edu.

 EHC Information

Are you interested in joining an existing Extension Homemakers Club? EHC is the largest volunteer organization in the state. For information on EHC call 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email jvincent@uaex.edu.

Master Gardeners

If you’re interested in becoming a Master Gardener and would like more information, you’re welcome to attend their monthly meeting on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 1pm at the Elks Lodge.  You may also call the Extension office on 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email abates@uaex.edu.

 4-H Information

We have several 4-H clubs for our Garland county youth who are 5 to 19 years old.  For more information on all the fun 4-H activities there are, call the Extension Office at 623-6841 or 922-4703 or email Linda Bates at lbates@uaex.edu. 

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.

 

By Jessica Vincent
County Extension Agent - FCS
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jessica Vincent
County Extension Agent - FCS
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
236 Woodbine Hot Springs AR 71901
(501) 623-6841
jvincent@uaex.edu

  • follow me on FaceBook

  • The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

    The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

    Top