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Updated: 4/16/2007 3:43 pm Published: 4/16/2007 3:43 pm

Exercise has numerous benefits not only for your health, but also for your appearance. It stimulates circulation, which helps your hair and skin look better. Physical activity boosts your metabolism and makes it easier to shed pounds or maintain your desired weight. Exercise also tones muscles and improves posture, thus enhancing your shape. In addition, regular activity has been shown to relieve stress and help you sleep, which in turn contributes to a healthier look. To reap the benefits of exercise, it's generally recommended that you aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week. This might mean walking, bicycling, golfing, or swimming. Chores like vigorous housecleaning or yard work count as exercise, too. Choose activities you like; this will make it easier to stick to a plan. If you find yourself getting bored, alternate activities on different days. You can also sneak in more exercise by making changes in your daily routine. For example, take the stairs instead of riding the elevator; park farther away at the mall, grocery store, or office; and stretch your legs periodically by walking around the block or down the hall.

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