Exercise immediately conjures to mind images of running along long, dusty roads or red dirt and rock, walking along sidewalks in the city, gyms with complicated equipment, complex "workout plans", and group fitness classes. But did you know there is so much more to exercise than these traditional images that come to mind? Exercise can be done in so many ways, many of which do not require weights or a gym! Exercise can be done in a seated position for wheelchair-bound individuals, or for those simply unsteady on their feet. Everyone starts somewhere, and exercise can not only be fun, but is for everyone!
Regular physical activity is actually one of the most important things you can do for your health. Being physically active:
- Improves your brain health,
- Reduces the risk of new diseases developing,
- Helps to manage chronic diseases you already have,
- Strengthens your immune system,
- Strengthens bones and muscles (fights osteoporosis),
- Helps manage weight,
- Improves your sleep,
- Improves your mood,
- Improves your confidence,
- Improves your ability to do everyday activities (often called activities of daily living or ADLs), and
- Much more!
Exercise is not only important and linked to good health outcomes, but a lack of exercise has been linked to greater severity of COVID-19 infections.
Here at the AACIHC we have consulted with a Certified Personal Trainer regarding exercise, its benefits, and requested some general suggestions for those new to exercise, but who may not necessarily be able to get out and go to a gym.
Before beginning an exercise routine, talk to your healthcare provider. Make sure that you are okay to begin an exercise program. If you experience ANY CHANGES IN YOUR HEALTH, talk to your healthcare provider prior to continuing your exercise routine.
The below guidance is meant to be informational only, and is not a substitute for speaking with your healthcare provider or a substitute for working with a personal trainer. If you have any health conditions or injuries, also make sure that you are cleared by your physical or occupational therapist for exercise if you are seeing one.
The below Exercise Infographic Series is meant to provide foundational knowledge for individuals new to exercise, or those seeking to learn more about exercise, its benefits, how it relates to American Indians/Alaska Natives, and why it is so important.
Foundations of Exercise
- Exercise - Why does it Matter? (Bookmark)
- Exercise - Benefits of Exercise (Bookmark)
- Exercise and the Immune System (Bookmark)
- Exercise, American Indians and Poverty (Bookmark)
- Exercise Recommendations for Adults and Children - Weekly (Bookmark)
- Exercise - Preparing for Exercise (Bookmark - Front and Back)
Basics of an Exercise Program
Topics Specific to Tribes in Arizona