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Exercise Your Heart, Mind and Body

Written by Michael Blake, NDSU Extension Service Intern

March is National Nutrition Month. The focus of this month is to improve your health in all aspects of life. This initiative is supported by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (

That goal may seem difficult, but it starts with one small change at a time.

First, fitness experts recommend we accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. That 150 minutes can seem unachievable. However, you do not have to do this all at once. One to two exercise sessions per day for 10 to 20 minutes per time count toward the total.

What if I cannot exercise for more than five minutes?

In this case, do what you can; five minutes of exercise is better than not being physically active. Begin with what you can handle and slowly build up.

The second part of reaching your goal is exercising your mind. This can be as easy as lending a helping hand when it is needed. Another key to good mind health is maintaining a positive mindset, such as looking for the bright side of things.

The third aspect is to exercise and nourish your heart by maintaining a healthful diet. This includes eating a variety of fruits and vegetables every day in an overall balanced diet. This lifestyle is not restricting but rather is one of moderation and compromise.

Yes, exercising your heart is a part of exercising your body and it also is a part of exercising your mind.

These three areas are all intertwined because our bodies are a network of communication and activity. By exercising one area, you exercise another.

When combined, all three aspects create personal wellness. Remember that every change begins with a small step that you repeated. So happy National Nutrition Month and follow the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ recommendation ( to “savor the flavor of eating right.”

Filed under: fca newsletter

Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

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