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Get in Gear: The Benefits of Exercise

Get in Gear: The Benefits of Exercise

Exercise is beneficial for heart health, building muscular strength, increasing endurance, and maintaining weight, but did you know it also helps reduce stress? Physical therapists often give exercise as homework to help improve your strength, and range of motion, decrease your pain or even help reduce your stress. If you find yourself stressed out and are without injury, short bouts of exercise can help decrease your stress levels and leave you feeling rejuvenated.

The average weekly amount of exercise prescribed by the American College of Sports Medicine for adults ages 18-64 is 150 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. Intervals as small as 2, 5, and 10 minutes count toward your activity minutes for the week.

Below are some ways to meet your 150 minutes per week and help reduce your stress levels:

  • Take your dog for a 20-minute walk
  • Go for a 5-15 minute walk with a friend during your lunch break
  • Meet a friend and walk indoors at a mall or large department store
  • Dance to your favorite song
  • Get a walking app or smart watch that helps you calculate your steps. Slowly build up to >7,000 steps per day

After your first week; reflect back and ask yourself “How was my stress this week?” If you find that exercise causes you pain or you need more guidance on what exercises are appropriate for you, ask your family doctor for a referral to physical therapy today! Visit to learn more about Rehabilitation Care at Valley Health.