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Healthy Kingsport’s Exercise Almanac will give you the lowdown on options

AIESHA BANKS • Jul 2, 2020 at 10:45 PM

Let’s start with this thought: If your doctor gave you a prescription that said, “Will improve your mood, improve energy, keep you mentally sharp, help you manage weight, reduce your risk of disease and injury, extend your life span, and cost little to nothing,” you’d probably say, “Say what?”

Newsflash! A prescription is immediately available — and you don’t need a doctor to write it for you. It’s exercise!

During the summer months, Healthy Kingsport will present what we call “The Exercise Almanac.” Five minutes or 150 minutes? Cardio or strength training? High-impact to strengthen the skeleton or low impact to protect it?

If your goal is to do the following, tune in every Thursday for a new topic.

• Pilates and yoga are suitable for flexibility, balance, core strength, upper-body strength and reducing back pain.

• Cycling is ideal for joint health, stamina, leg strength, and increased immunity.

• Swimming is good for endurance, improved mood, injury recovery, joint health, and upper body strength.

• High intensity interval training is good for weight loss, control, metabolic health, endurance, and time management.

• Weight training is for strength, leanness, metabolic health, mental health, and better 

• Walking and running support weight maintenance, creativity and thinking, sleep quality, happiness, metabolic health, and extended life span.

What’s the best exercise, you ask? None of the above. The best exercise is the one you do today. It’s the only one that counts. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to how much to exercise. Do something active as often as you can. Any movement counts, they say, and adds up for overall health, from cleaning the house to running three miles every day.

Next week’s column will start the first discussion — Pilates and yoga: the benefits, the downsides and the good-to-knows.

Healthy Kingsport is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a community that actively embraces healthy living by promoting wellness, enhancing infrastructure, and influencing policy. Aiesha Banks is the executive director of Healthy Kingsport. She can be reached at abanks@healthykingsport.org.

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