Making the Best Version of You in 2021


It’s the New Year and many people are making resolutions to eat better and exercise more. Regardless of the time of year, your age, or your fitness level, it’s never too late to make exercise a part of your daily or weekly routine. There are numerous health benefits to exercising regularly, such as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, improving sleep, boosting your immune system, and reducing your risk of stroke and heart disease. Exercise is also beneficial for your mental health by reducing stress and depression.

The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week and performing eight to 10 strength exercises at least twice a week. Keep your exercise schedule alive by exercising with friends, varying the intensity level, and, when necessary, exercise in short bouts of 10 minutes. Even a 10-minute walk can boost your metabolism and spirits.

Making a lifestyle change and keeping those resolutions can be hard to do, especially alone. Hold yourself accountable by scheduling workouts and exercising with friends. You will be more motivated with a workout buddy, and by choosing an exercise that is enjoyable and fun for you. It is much easier to go to the gym when you enjoy your time there. A fun exercise will give you something to be excited about, even on long, stressful, or tough days. If you are not sure where to begin, try a group fitness class or hire a personal trainer.

Regular exercise makes your heart stronger, which can lower blood pressure. Becoming more active also helps you achieve or maintain a healthy weight and can reduce the risk of Type II Diabetes. While the most well-known benefit of exercise might be weight loss, exercise can also decrease fasting glucose and fasting insulin, and reduce insulin resistance. Exercise can lower the low-density lipoprotein (also known as LDL or bad cholesterol), and it can also help your body produce more high-density lipoprotein (also known as HDL or good cholesterol). When you exercise, your body releases endorphins that counteract stress and boost the immune system. Keeping your body healthy can also lower the risk of chronic disease.

The McLeod Health & Fitness Center offers programs to help you achieve your goals, including personal training services and nutrition counseling, and over 100 group fitness classes per week. The outdoor track on our campus is safe, well-lit, connects to the Rail Trail, and is available for the public to use. We employ certified personal trainers and fitness instructors who work with individuals of all fitness levels, from exercise beginners to advanced athletes. You can also meet with one of our registered dietitians for personalized nutrition care and guidance to improve your health and well-being.

At the McLeod Health & Fitness Center, we are committed to ensuring safety during Covid-19 by providing hand sanitizer stations and constantly cleaning equipment throughout the facility. While some machines remain marked off limits for distancing reasons, plenty remain available and there are no time limits associated with them.

Remember to speak with your family physician before beginning any new exercise program. For additional information on programs at the McLeod Health & Fitness Center, call (843) 777-3000 or stop in for a tour at 2437 Willwood Drive in Florence.