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Get Up and Join the Movement

As we emerge from the doldrums of winter hibernation and COVID-19-related inertia, it’s important to remember that exercise is good medicine and there’s no better time than now, to get moving again.

“There isn’t a chronic condition that can’t be better managed with an appropriate dose of exercise,” asserts Dr. Cedric Bryant*, President and Chief Science Officer at the American Council on Exercise. “This requires good interaction with your physician, an ability to listen smartly to your body and the realization that some exercise is always better than none.”

He recommends fostering good muscular fitness and enhancing strength, flexibility and balance with the exercise routine shown below. The 15-minute investment of time needed to complete one set of 8 to 15 repetitions for each exercise provides beginners with “the minimum effective dose needed to elicit a very positive response,” says Dr. Bryant.

Add regular rounds of exercise that build endurance, helping improve the health of your heart, lungs and circulatory system. To achieve the best results, you should have enough breath to talk but not enough to sing during aerobic activities such as brisk walking or jogging, dancing, biking, swimming, climbing stairs, or playing basketball, tennis or the uber-popular pickleball. (Learn more about today’s fastest-growing sport in an upcoming newsletter.) Be sure and check with your healthcare provider before beginning an exercise program.

Dr. Bryant’s Essential Seven

1. Pushups

Benefits: Develop the large muscles of the chest and the back of arms

 

 


2. Bodyweight Squat

Benefits: Strengthens and tones the lower body

 

 

 


3. Bent-Over Row

Benefits: Targets muscles in the upper and middle back and improves stability of the spine

 

 


4. Modified Single-Leg Deadlift

Benefits: Strengthens and tones gluteals and helps improve balance

 

 


5. Overhead Front Press

Benefits: Increases shoulder strength and engages the core for stability

 

 


6. Calf Raises

Benefits: Strengthen lower leg muscles, increase stability, balance and agility

 

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7. Plank Pose

Benefits: Strengthens the core and abdominals while increasing stability and balance

 

 

Sources/refer to these websites for more detailed descriptions on the exercises: American Council on Exercise, Verywell Fit, Women’s Health


*As President and Chief Science Officer at the American Council on Exercise, Cedric X. Bryant, PH.D and Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, stewards the organization’s exercise-science and behavior-change education. He earned both his doctorate in physiology and master’s degree in exercise science from Pennsylvania State University, where he received the Penn State Alumni Fellow Award, the school’s highest alumni honor.