Yoga class at Jimmy Brought
Students attend a yoga class at the fitness center. Yoga is one of several classes offered at the Jimmy Brought.

FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Don't wait until the New Year to get fit. Regular physical activity is important to maintain good health; not just for weight loss.

"When we exercise our lungs take in additional oxygen, which is fuel for the heart and the brain. Regular exercise strengthens the heart, helps prevent heart disease and can help to prevent strokes," said Lucian Kimble, fitness coordinator and certified personal trainer at the Jimmy Brought Fitness Center.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, physical activity helps reduce high blood pressure; the risks for type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and several forms of cancer; arthritis pain; osteoporosis and symptoms of depression and anxiety.

"Physical fitness is beneficial for our mental health. Exercise can release stress and tension in our lives. Strenuous exercise can release endorphins in your brain, and actually make you happier," Kimble said.

According to the www.HealthierUS.gov Web site, more than 60 percent of American adults do not get enough physical activity, and more than 25 percent are not active at all.

The amount physical activity a person needs to management their weight can vary greatly. According to the CDC, to maintain weight people should work their way up to 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity or a combination of the two, each week.

Moderate-intensity activities include walking briskly, light yard work, actively playing with children or a casual bike ride. Vigorous activities include jogging or running, swimming laps and most competitive sports such as football, basketball or soccer.

Joy Row attends the yoga class at the Jimmy Brought Fitness Center. Row said she started exercising to manage her chronic pain, but gained strength and flexibility as well.

"Lisa, the yoga instructor, is really great about helping me modify the exercises," she said. "I had a back injury and was in physical therapy for four months."

"Exercise is addicting," said 79-year-old Wera Sharp. "I exercise three times a week at the gym, but I walk three miles every day."

Kimble recommends exercising four times a week for 20 to 30 minutes.

"Try to take 10,000 steps a day," he recommends.

The Jimmy Brought offers several fitness classes including yoga, aerobics and aquatics; free blood pressure screening; body composition testing and weight loss counseling.

"If you are new to the gym, we recommend you ask for an equipment orientation," said Anthony Poore, facility manager at the Jimmy Brought Fitness Center.

Morale, Welfare and Recreation will held a New Year's Eve 5K Run Dec. 31 starting at midnight at the Jimmy Brought Fitness Center. Registration is free. This event is a safe, healthy way to celebrate the New Year with the entire Family.

MWR also offers many intramural sports throughout the year, billiards and pingpong begin in January; volleyball and racquetball in February; followed by golf, soccer, softball and flag football later in the spring.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16