What is one thing that you can do right now to improve your overall health? Regular exercise, specifically aerobic exercise. The good news is you can start today. Just a good pair of walking shoes will get you on your way to improving your health.

We are lucky to live in an area where we can go outside and breathe fresh air. In this time of social distancing, we can go out for a walk and not see another person.  It’s not hard to get started, just a 10-minute walk every day for a week, and then add 5 minutes to your time each week until you get up to 45 to 60 minutes.  The benefits will be great.

First, aerobic exercise, such as walking promotes a robust and steady breathing rate. Meaning your lungs will get stronger. The respiratory system can take in larger volumes of air, which translates to more oxygen into the blood flow. Good news for our hearts too, increasing our heart rate, which makes our heart stronger and allows our respiratory and cardiac system to work in harmony. The more you exercise, the arterial walls can become more elastic, which can help reduce blood pressure. The benefits of Increased metabolism by improved energy production is a catalyst for burning more calories.  By burning more calories, we can lose weight. Our energy will be boosted by increased blood flow from the aerobic exercise. Muscles and bones will get stronger.  Finally, we will sleep better. Studies have shown that getting 150 minutes of exercise a week ( basically 22 minutes a day), specifically aerobic exercise can improve the quality of sleep by 65 percent.

In this time of uncertainty, taking care of ourselves will help us to weather the storm.  Breathing fresh air, being away from the news, social media, and the weight of the world will give us mental health and a new perspective. There is not much we can control in life, but taking care of ourselves, mentally, and physically is within our reach.

So lace up those walking shoes and go outside and take in this beautiful landscape we call home. It will bring peace.  For more information about health and fitness, please contact Kay Colgan at Middleburg Pilates and Personal Training, 14 S Madison Street, Middleburg, Va. or call 540-687-6995.

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