Corinna's top reasons to exercise in the new year

The benefits of exercise are endless both physically and mentally. The good news is, you can feel these benefits with just a few minutes of exercise a day. While the general recommendation for exercise is 30 minutes a day, you don't have to treat all exercise as a chore. Exercise and be as simple and fun as taking the dog for a walk, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or playing with the kids in the snow. All these activities add up to increase your health and your mood.

So do you need more convincing of why you should start moving more in the New Year? The following reasons should be enough to get you going.

• Exercise improves your mood. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out.

• Exercise combats chronic diseases. Regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage high blood pressure and cholesterol. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly by lowering the buildup of plaques in your arteries.

• Exercise helps you manage your weight. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn - and the easier it is to keep your weight under control.

• Exercise boosts your energy level. Physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you'll have more energy to do the things you enjoy.

• Exercise promotes better sleep. Physical activity is sometimes the key to better sleep. However, if you exercise too close to bedtime, you may be too energized to fall asleep. If you're having trouble sleeping, you might want to exercise earlier in the day.

So start the New Year off right. Get that body moving and remember to have fun.

For free tips on exercise, weight loss, and healthy recipes, visit cmfitnessconsulting.com and sign up for my free e-mail newsletter.

Corinna Maggy is the owner of Corinna Maggy Fitness Consulting, and Women On Weights, a health and fitness program developed specifically for women. She is a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist. Corinna offers private personal training, small group classes, and both individual and group weight management programs as well as corporate wellness programs. She can be reached at 605-3549 or by e-mail at corinnamaggy@yahoo.com.

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