If we could encapsulate the benefits of exercise into a pill, it would be the magic drug we've all been looking for. The benefits of exercise are wide spread. It decreases your risk of heart disease and diabetes, enhances mood, improves sleep, lowers “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides, increases “good” cholesterol (HDL), and the one we all love the most: facilitates weight loss.

An ideal exercise goal is 5 days per week for at least 30 minutes. If you haven't been exercising then don't sweat it (but do); start with what you can. If your goal is weight loss, interval training and strength training is most effective. If your goal is cardiovascular health, then cardio workouts and strength training is great. Mix it up and commit to something you enjoy doing. Examples of interval training are: walk at a normal pace alternating with fast pace walking, jog then sprint, do stair or hill workouts (my favorite is at the Kealakehe football stadium stairs), or google “interval training workouts” to find your own. It doesn’t have to be long or torturous, but it’s important to get your heart rate up and make it count.

Also consider swimming, biking, joining the running group in Kona (they meet at Big Island Running Company on Ali’i Drive Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5pm, all are welcome), pilates or yoga. You don’t have to belong to a gym to do strength training either. You can do pushups, lunges, squats, calf raises, tricep dips, and/or jumping jacks anywhere at all.

For more information or questions, contact Dr. Kristina Roberts, naturopathic physician at Lokahi Health Center, at 808-329-2114 or [email protected]