Put some “Spring” in your step

With the days growing longer, it’s the perfect time to take advantage of spring weather and enjoy the outdoors. As a trainer for OHSU’s March Wellness Center, I see how exercise benefits my clients physically and mentally every day.

At age 30, a woman’s bone density starts to decline, and it’s crucial to build that back up. Exercise is one of the best things you can do to rebuild and maintain your bone mineral density. Working out with weights and walking help build bone density, as well as strength.

America is a nation of sitters. If we are hunched over a computer all day, our posture suffers, and when our spines aren’t in alignment, we put extra strain on our bodies. When I work with clients, I focus on reversing “computer hunch” with back strengthening moves like rows, which stabilize and work the back, and stretches for the chest and the front of the body.

And don’t overlook the incredible psychological benefits of exercise. The hormonal effects are amazing. When you exercise, you release endorphins, and that’s your body’s ‘happy drug'”—something we could all use a little more of, don’t you think? Simple walking, with correct posture and gluteal muscles engaged, is a terrific overall exercise.

Want to walk the talk? Be sure to mark your calendars for Portland’s American Heart Association Heart Walk on May 17th. You can join a walking team or donate directly to the AHA.

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Kimi Daniel Kimi Daniel is a trainer at the OHSU March Wellness Center. She also helps train high-school athletes at St. Mary’s Academy in Portland. Daniel earned her B.S. in exercise science at Portland State and her M.S. in athletic training from Florida International University.