Getting Regular Exercise

artwork by Heidi Bosch Romano Most of us are aware that getting regular exercise followed by proper stretching are important factors in maintaining good health. Some of us are lucky enough to be able to join a gym, but that isn't always possible or practical for everyone. Thankfully, getting enough exercise can be as simple as taking a few short walks that add up to 30 minutes a day, followed by gentle stretching.

The benefits of adding daily exercise to your routine make it worth the trouble: better sleep, decreased appetite, a sharper mind, an uplifted mood and over time, fewer aches and pains, better digestion, relief from irregularity, better circulation, and lower blood pressure.

For those of you who work long hours sitting at a desk, it's no surprise that physical therapists recommend that you take brief breaks to walk and stretch every hour. This prevents back pain, sciatica and other ailments that result from sitting for extended periods without a break.

A benefit of regular exercise is increased lung capacity which helps bring vital oxygen to all parts of the body. Breathing deeply also helps the lymphatic system function better. Unlike the bloodstream, which circulates by the pumping of the heart, the lymphatic system is stimulated by muscle movements. The lymphatic system maintains tissue fluid balance, defends the body against disease, and absorbs fats from the small intestine and transports them to the bloodstream.