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The best exercises for disease prevention

Kendra Y. Mims is a freelance writer and online content editor in the Chicagoland area. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in journalism. Her passions include writing, reading, and traveling.

Exercises that prevent disease

Not feeling inspired lately to hit the gym to work on your six-pack? Let disease prevention be your primary motivation. According to experts, exercising can cut your chances of developing diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. From combating high blood pressure to lowering cholesterol and the risk of developing cancer, the following exercises are recommended by experts to help prevent diseases.

Woman swimmer

The benefits of exercising on a regular basis go beyond fitting into a new pair of skinny jeans. Besides looking physically hot — toned arms, firm legs and killer abs — adding aerobics and strength training to your schedule three to four times a week for at least 30 minutes will help keep your body healthy, strong and in combat mode to fight off diseases.

1


Walking

Walking is an easy, accessible exercise that can be easily modified according to your lifestyle and physical activity level. A recent Harvard study shows that walking at a moderate pace for up to three hours a week can reduce the risk of heart disease in women by as much as 40 percent. Walking is also known to support the immune system and help prevent diabetes.

Committing yourself to making small changes will still make a difference. Avoid circling the parking lot until you find a parking spot that is closest to the entrance. Park far away and then walk. Ditch the elevator and take the stairs. Incorporate walking into your lunch break at work.

(Reminder: April 6 is National Start Walking day every year).

How to plan a walking weight loss program >>

2Running

Grab a good pair of running shoes if you want to slow down the aging process and decrease your chances of a heart attack. Running is rated high among aerobic exercises that strengthen the heart and lungs.

According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular exercises such as running benefit your heart. Studies show that the health benefits of running also include lowering blood pressure, reducing the chance of strokes and heart attacks, and strengthening bones to help prevent bone and muscle loss.

Although some people experience a "runner's high" and can run for miles on a daily basis, running is a vigorous exercise that can be difficult for new runners. If running is challenging for you, start off with a slow jog, and build from there. You can also run in short intervals (run for 4 minutes, then walk for 1 minute and repeat), which is also effective.

Best surfaces for running >>

3Biking

If you're trying to avoid high gas prices, biking could be a great option for you this summer.
Biking is not only a beneficial exercise that promotes weight loss, it also helps prevent disease, reduce stress and it is easy on the joints. So wheel out your bike and enjoy the scenic route this summer. You'll also improve your muscle tone in the process.

Cycling: A beginner's guide >>

4Swimming

Warm weather is the perfect time to swim, whether you go to a beach, indoor pool or a pool party. Besides the fun of enjoying the pool on a hot, sunny day, swimming is an aerobic exercise that effectively burns a high number of calories per hour. It is a recommended exercise for people with lower-back pain, and it also helps to relieve discomfort in pregnant women. Studies show that regular swimmers tend to have strong hearts.

How many calories does swimming burn? >>

5Strength training

Are you a fan of push-ups, lunges, squats or using weight resistance bands? Incorporating strength training into your workouts is a good way to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Strength training has also been linked to reducing blood pressure, back pain and improving diabetics' overall condition.

10 Reasons women should lift weights >>

More fitness tips to beat disease

Video: Exercises to prevent osteoporosis
Pain-relieving rheumatoid arthritis workout
5 Best exercises for heart health

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