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Learn New Moves

Regular physical activity is an excellent way to keep your heart healthy.

Plus, exercise helps you look and feel slim and trim. From midlife on, women can particularly benefit from weight-bearing activities.

In addition to keeping your bones healthy, weight-bearing activities help you to look and feel younger. Good weight-bearing activities include walking, lifting hand weights, and carrying groceries.

Also helpful are activities that promote flexibility and balance, such as T'ai Chi and yoga.

Here are some simple suggestions for incorporating exercise into your daily routine:

  • Take the stairs versus the escalator or elevator
  • Park your car further from the store entrance
  • Walk to the mailbox instead of swinging by in the car
  • Get rid of the remote control and move during commercial breaks
  • Over-emphasize motion when vacuuming, raking, sweeping or washing the car
  • Walk around the soccer field at your child's game
  • Take the long way to office meetings and walk while waiting for a plane
  • Get up from your computer each hour; store your sneakers underneath your desk
  • Walk a message to your co-worker versus email
  • Buy a pedometer and aim to get the recommended 10,000 steps per day

Remember, getting your exercise doesn't mean you have to purchase expensive gym equipment. Use items you have around the house, like soup cans as weights, to build strength and help tone muscles. Repeat each of the following movements 15 times:

  • Circles: With a can in each hand, make big circles, as if swimming.
  • Flying: Raise arms up to shoulder height and back down to hips, as if trying to flap your wings.
  • Curling: With palms turned forward, bend elbow bringing cans up to shoulder and back down to hips.
  • Overhead reach: Push cans from shoulders straight up over head.
  • Rowing: Lean over a chair, rest one hand on seat, reach and pull as if trying to start a lawn mower.
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