Some of the most common illnesses and diseases in the United States may be directly tied to our fitness level, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some cancers. While some of these may be chronic, they can often be managed, improved, or reversed with proper diet and exercise.
Build a balanced lifestyle with plenty of physical activity
You’ve probably heard several times throughout your life about the importance of regular exercise. There is a reason this message is so prevalent — because it’s true! Maintaining or improving both your cardiovascular health and muscle fitness add to your overall well-being, help prevent and reverse disease, and allow you to have the energy you need to enjoy life to its fullest. In addition, they also allow you to control your weight and keep your bones healthy and strong. Healthy, strong bones are necessary to hold up your body and allow you to move forward in life. All of these factors also contribute to keeping your feet and ankles healthy, allowing you to continue your healthy habits.
What counts as a healthy fitness routine?
A healthy fitness routine incorporates both aerobic exercise and strength training, although not necessarily in the same workout unless both activities fit into your schedule.
Aerobic, or cardiovascular exercise, should consist of 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days per week or 20 minutes of vigorous exercise three days per week. Moderate exercise makes you sweat, but you should still be able to hold a conversation without difficulty. In vigorous exercise, you should be able to speak, but with less ease. Moderate exercise may be more comfortable, but if you have a tight schedule, vigorous exercise may fit better. Regardless, follow your doctor’s advice when starting a new fitness routine in order to avoid training or overuse injuries. Make it fun by encouraging family, friends, and coworkers to join you on a walk or bike ride. Go for a hike in nature, or enjoy the simplicity of running around the neighborhood with your dog. Whatever you do, the more you enjoy it and the more fun you can make it, the more likely you will be to do it again and again.
In addition to performing aerobic exercise to keep your heart and lungs healthy, your bones and muscles need to stay healthy as well. Strength training can occur as little as two days per week with between eight and 12 repetitions of an exercise per major muscle group. Strength training can be done at home, in a gym, or even at your local park. Equipment can be as simple as using your own body weight or resistance bands, or it can include free weights, weight machines, medicine balls, kettlebells, or whatever other equipment makes strength training easy and fun for you.
Before embarking on a new fitness routine, make sure you have a complete physical and medical evaluation to ensure that you are injury-free and don’t have any issues that might get in the way of achieving your goals and becoming a healthier person. Because you rely on your feet to keep you up and moving, propelling you throughout the day and from activity to activity, you should also have your feet, ankles, and lower legs evaluated by your podiatrist to ensure their health. Your podiatrist will also be able to provide guidance on shoe fit and whether or not orthotics or shoe inserts and support devices may be needed to keep your feet healthy.
Staying fit and healthy and getting plenty of regular movement are keys to overall health and well-being. Call the podiatrists at Kansas City Foot Specialists today at (913) 338-4440 to schedule an appointment and to find out how we can help you keep your feet, and your body, healthy and moving for years to come.