Fitness and Exercise
We see or hear the term "Health and Fitness" all the time. However, "Health" and "Fitness" are two distinct, but overlapping subjects. A person can be clinically healthy and at the same time not physically fit. Another person may exercise, jog, walk, even go to a health club. They may be physically fit, but not necessarily healthy. More
From age 30 on, both men and women lose 10% of their muscle and some of their bone tissue during each and every decade, as well as 10% of their endurance. However, by maintaining a proper exercise program, there is no reason why a normally healthy person in their 60's or 70's can't enjoy the same fitness level of a sedentary 30 year old. More
Aerobic Conditioning begins with the pumping and squeezing of the muscles during exercise which sends an increasing volume of blood to your heart. This, in turn, stretches the heart muscle which, in turn, contracts more forcefully. This process then repeats over and over again. The end result is that the heart muscle and heart chambers grow larger and stronger, thereby pumping more blood with each heartbeat, even at rest. More
The other type of conditioning is ANAEROBIC CONDITIONING, which is literally, "without oxygen." Here a concentrated effort targeting a specific muscle group is made, which demands more oxygen than the body can provide. The result is a rapid fatigue of that muscle group. More
Physical ActivityFor people with diabetes and those at risk for developing diabetes, regular physical activity is crucial for long term good health. So, it’s important to figure out ways to incorporate regular physical activity into your daily routine.
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Exercise is good for everyone. But it can be especially good for you if you have diabetes. When you exercise, you will feel "charged-up", both physically and emotionally. It will improve your overall health. And, it plays a key role in controlling your blood sugar. More
Archery, in one form or another, has been around for somewhere between 10,000 – 40,000 years (probably longer). The bow and arrow was first used for hunting and was later used as an effective long distance weapon in warfare. Archery was an important military and hunting skill before the development of firearms. Archery also figured prominently in mythology of many cultures and fiction e.g. Robin Hood, Cupid, Legolas and Green Arrow.
Today archery is still used as a tool for hunting but also enjoys recognition worldwide as a team and individual sport. More
Cycling is easy to incorporate into your life. If you’ve ridden a bike before it’s just a matter of getting your balance back, and if not, there is not a steep learning curve. Bicycling doesn’t require a lot of expensive equipment (beyond a bike and a helmet). You don’t need a super fancy (or expensive) bicycle unless you are planning on going off road or tackling hilly terrain. In many parts of the U.S. you can cycle year-round, and build it into your daily routine by cycling to work and to do errands. Most people can continue cycling into their 70’s and 80’s. Read More
Bowling has a long and rich history. Today it is enjoyed by over 95 million people in more than ninety countries worldwide, making it one of the most popular sports in the world. Bowling is an easy sport people of all ages and physical abilities can participate in year round. Go Bowl!
Boxing isn’t just for tough guys any more. Boxing is one of the most popular fitness regimes around that helps you produce a lean, toned, strong body. Boxing hit the mainstream in physical fitness training in the past decade as people have seen the benefits of boxing workouts. Cardio boxing (and kickboxing) classes and the variations of the sparring jabs, power punches, defense and footwork contains elements of all aerobics exercises. Hit the Ring!
Dancing is a great way for people of all ages to get and stay in shape. Experts agree that dancing is a true sport and a valid form of exercise. Dancing uses, virtually, all of your body’s muscles: feet, calves, thighs, upper and lower back, abdominals, shoulders, neck and even arms get a workout while dancing.
Dance is a full body workout that burns calories and helps cardiovascular conditioning by lowering your heart rate, blood pressure and cholesterol. It can also help strengthen bones and improve posture. Learn More
Hiking and Backpacking
Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking over natural terrain (if it’s paved it’s a walk) in mountainous or other scenic areas. In the United States, hiking refers to walking outdoors on a trail for recreational purposes. A day hike refers to a hike that can be completed in a single day - not requiring an overnight camp. Multi-day hikes with camping are referred to as backpacking. Get Started
Ice skating is a widely popular activity that also the basis of many winter sports, including figure skating and ice dancing, ice hockey and speed skating. But Olympic dreams aside; ice skating in all its forms is an accessible and easy way to spend time with friends and family while getting a diverse range of health and fitness benefits. Get gliding
It isn’t just for kids! Though, it’s an exercise adults often overlook. Jumping rope helps develop agility, coordination, balance and body awareness. Plus, it improves cardiovascular and muscular endurance. Current research indicates high impact activities, such as jumping rope, can help maintain or build healthy bones. Jumping rope also helps strengthen the arms and shoulders. Learn More.
The martial arts are more than just a system of combat techniques and the practice has been around for over 4,000 years. Today’s practice of martial arts can be thought of as a path to being a better person. It’s about much more than punching or kicking. Most martial arts schools expect their students to adhere to certain tenets: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self control and strength of spirit. These characteristics are much more important than executing the perfect flying side kick. In fact, all martial arts emphasize non-violence. The skills are only to be used to defend or to counter attack and practitioners are trained to only use the force necessary to end a fight. Along with the fighting skills that are learned the martial artist must also learn responsibility. More
Orienteering is a sport for the whole family as well as a “family of sports”. Participants use a map and compass to navigate from point to point in diverse and usually unfamiliar terrain at normal moving speeds. Participants are given a topographical map, usually a specially prepared orienteering map, which they use to find check points in a designated area. More about orienteering
Whether it’s floating down a quiet river, kayaking a big bay, rowing a small lake or rushing down white water rapids, taking up a paddle or an oar can be a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors. There is still plenty of time to take advantage of the mild fall weather and enjoy some time on the water in an activity that improves your aerobic fitness, strength and flexibility. Learn More
Pilates (puh-LAH-teez) has rapidly become one of the most popular exercise routines in the country. Chances are excellent you’ve heard someone talking about the benefits. But, what the heck is Pilates anyway?
Pilates is a body conditioning routine that builds flexibility, long, lean muscles, strength and endurance in the legs, abdominals, arms, hips, and back. The emphasis is on spinal and pelvic alignment, breathing to allow adequate oxygen flow to muscles, developing a strong core or center, and improving coordination and balance. Pilates' flexible system allows for exercises to be modified in range of difficulty from beginning to advanced levels of fitness. Learn more about your "core".
Roller skating, inline skating, roller blading are all personal wheeled forms of transportation and exercise! 26 million Americans skate on a regular basis. Get Rolling!
Swimming is the second most popular exercise activity in the United States. Swimming burns calories and is easy on the joints because the water supports your weight (body weight reduced to 10% of actual weight). Swimming also builds muscle strength and endurance, and improves cardiovascular fitness. Swimming is refreshing in summer, a potentially lifesaving skill and one that you can do safely into elder years. Learn the basics
Tennis is one of the most popular sports throughout the world and is played by millions of people at all levels of ability. Tennis is often called a “sport for a lifetime” because you can play well into your senior years. According to scientists from a variety of disciplines, a tennis workout is THE total body workout providing physical, mental and emotional benefits. Hit the courts
T'ai chi ch’uan or t’ai chi is a Chinese martial art form that was first promoted in the United States in 1939. Tai chi is sometimes described as "meditation in motion" because it reduces stress and promotes serenity through gentle movements. To do tai chi, you perform a series of movements called forms. Each posture flows into the next without pause, ensuring that your body is in constant motion. The image of t'ai chi in popular culture is typified by exceedingly slow movement. More about T'ai Chi
Volleyball is a team sport played by two opposing teams separated by a net. Volleyball is both a competitive and leisure activity that can be played by any gender, school teams, professional athletes or families and friends enjoying a day at the beach. Hit the court!
Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise. It is low impact and is the preferred choice of exercise by health experts. After all, with the exception of a small percentage of the population, we all started doing it between 12 and 18 months of age and it’s something we do every day. All you need is a good pair of shoes, comfortable clothing, and the ability to open the front door! Get Walking Now!
Just like swimming, water aerobics builds muscle strength and endurance, and improves cardiovascular fitness. Referred to as Aqua Fitness, or Aqua Aerobics in some regions, water aerobics is the performance of strength and cardio exercises in water. Although they can be done in any type of water, a pool provides more safety and control. Cool off and get fit!
Why hibernate until spring? Take advantage of the cold and snow, embrace your adventurous spirit, and learn an outdoor cold weather sport. Winter sports are a great way to keep active during those cold winter months.
Many winter sports are social or family-oriented and building strong bodies and minds are just two of the benefits of participation. Advances in winter sport equipment design have decreased the learning curve and light-weight and cozy apparel keeps the cold away and the body flexible. Read the whole story!
Family Physical Activity Resources
With this handy reference tool
, your family will never lack ideas for things to do in the great outdoors!
The Presidential Champions Program shows ways for individuals to raise their activity levels and receive positive feedback for their efforts. Our Executive Director, Andy Mandell – Mr. Diabetes® is an Active Lifestyle Presidential Champion Gold Award recipient (quite a mouthful!). Andy has been able to attain this level of accomplishment by walking every day. But walking isn’t the only way to attain the award. The guidelines are simple. Read More and Sign Up Today!
Updated January 30, 2013