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A ‘Balanced’ Exercise Program – What It Is And Why You Need It

You’ve heard it before, and increasingly, doctors and therapists are recommending it: Exercise is one of the healthiest steps you can take to improve your life, health and emotional well-being. It not only helps you maintain a healthy body and weight, it also has proven benefits in increasing your happiness and even improving your relationships.

If you’re already exercising, you may want to improve your consistency, and spend less time making excuses or dreading what’s involved. Wouldn’t it be great to enjoy and appreciate its value to you, your health and your happiness?

You can. Check into how you may energize your love and appreciation for exercise. And, if you are just getting started, here are 12 tips to help you make exercise part of your lifestyle.

Regardless your fitness level, however, it’s important to work toward putting together an exercise regimen that is balanced. What’s that entail? A balanced exercise program is one that includes the three essential components of physical health: endurance, strength, and balance and flexibility.

Why strength building?

Strength building exercises are designed to build your muscle mass and core strength. This is a huge benefit to you, for several reasons.

For one, strength exercises have been found to prevent diabetes by keeping blood sugar in check, thus positively affecting the overall health of your body and mind. Research shows it can also strengthens bones, and may even prevent osteoporosis.

Additionally, it’s a great addition to any weight loss or maintenance program because building muscle mass considerably boosts your metabolism. That’s right. The more muscle you build, the more calories you burn. And maintaining a healthy weight is a critical ingredient to staying vibrantly healthy.

Strength building exercises include:

· Weight machines and free weights
· Rowing, cycling
· Pilates
· Martial arts

Two keys to success in building muscle mass and core strength are: (1) to work muscles in both the upper and lower parts of your body; and (2) to give those parts of your body at least 24 hours between strength building workouts. This allows your body to repair itself, and maximizes health benefits.

Why endurance building?  

Endurance exercises are aerobic regimens designed to increase your physical stamina by strengthening your lungs, heart and circulatory system. They provide a boost to your overall mental health and energy.

Studies show vigorous exercise enhances the functioning of your brain–and can improve mental performance, for example, at work or school. In relationships, it can help you better regulate your emotions, and deal with stress more effectively.

Findings also show vigorous exercise can reduce or alleviate anxiety and depression. Aerobic workouts release endorphins and other feel-good hormones that calm the mind and body naturally, even as they refresh and energize the entire body by circulating its oxygen supply.

You’re in a better position to remain relatively calm and centered during upsets or triggering moments, and thus to prevent your brain and body from unnecessarily activating your body’s defenses.

Being able to better handle conflict and painful emotions – your own or others – is a tremendous benefit in your key relationships. This can be a great boost to your confidence and self-esteem!

Endurance exercises involve activities such as:

· Running
· Aerobic classes
· Swimming
· Dancing
· Brisk walking, hiking

Why balance and flexibility?

By stretching the muscle groups that hold the body together, balance and flexibility exercises, such as yoga and Pilates, help to keep your body flexible, centered and mobile.

This type of exercise is particularly beneficial when it includes components of mindfulness, such as focused attention of mind to body, deep breathing and meditation. A plethora of studies find yoga has powerful benefits to mental and physical health, for example, to include lowering blood pressure, relieving anxiety and depression, and more.

Stretching and positioning the body also strengthens the mind-body connection, thus, increases your sense of presence and self in relation to your body.

The exercises are also used in facilitating recovery from an injury, as well as preventing one, for example, by stretching at the start and end of workouts.

Balance and flexibility exercises include:

· Yoga or Tai Chi
· Pilates
· Martial arts
· Ballet

Hope you’re convinced on the essentials of a balanced exercise program and, if you’re not already, to give your body what it needs to build endurance, strength, as well as balance and flexibility.

You’ll be glad you did. Your brain and body are at your service 24/7. They ever appreciate all the loving care and attention you can muster!

A ‘Balanced’ Exercise Program – What It Is And Why You Need It

Athena Staik, Ph.D.

Relationship consultant, author, licensed marriage and family therapist, Dr. Athena Staik motivates clients to break free of anxiety, emotion reactivity, and other addictive patterns, to awaken wholehearted relating to self and other. She is currently in private practice in Northern VA, and writing her book, What a Narcissist Means When He Says 'I Love You'": Breaking Free of Addictive Love in Couple Relationships. To contact Dr. Staik for information, an appointment or workshop, visit, or visit on her two Facebook fan pages DrAthenaStaik and DrStaik

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APA Reference
Staik, A. (2012). A ‘Balanced’ Exercise Program – What It Is And Why You Need It. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 6, 2020, from


Last updated: 13 Feb 2012
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