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It’s time to spring into fitness!

Toni-Ann DiSantis

It’s time to spring into fitness!

[Daily Dose] Spring is the season of renewal, and it’s around the corner. Let the warmer air and spring buds inspire you to renew your fitness routine. Whether that means starting from scratch, kicking things up a notch, or trying a new activity, there are ever more reasons to “just do it.” We’ve known for a long time that regular exercise supports every system of the body, and overall health. Our bodies were made to move, pure and simple. New studies are getting down to the nitty-gritty of how, on a cellular level, physical activity affects the body. Research suggests, for instance, that when muscles are strengthened through exercise, they convert a stress-related hormone called kynurenine into a byproduct called kynurenic acid. Since kynurenine levels are high in people with depression, other mental illnesses, and Alzheimer’s, this conversion may help to explain why exercise is beneficial for brain health. Preliminary research shows that kynurenic acid may also help you burn fat more effectively and squelch harmful inflammation in the body, believed to be a cause of chronic illness. Of course, you don’t have to be a chemist to know how good exercise can make you feel. Lace up some comfortable shoes and hit the sidewalk or a nearby trail. Walking is a fantastic form of exercise, whether you’re a fitness newbie or an old pro. If you’d rather run, bike, or hit the gym, by all means, do it. Work up to about 500 minutes a week of ordinary, getting-from-here-to-there walking plus 150 minutes a week of brisk walking or any other moderate-intensity activity, and two or three strength-training sessions. Be patient with yourself, keep trying, and remember that some is a lot better than none. Seize the season!