This content was published: March 8, 2019. Phone numbers, email addresses, and other information may have changed.

Get Moving! Yoga, Running and Walking Are Healthy Activities at Any Age

PCC Community Ed

Picture of people doing cardio training on treadmill in gym

Life today can be stressful, and it’s difficult to find time for self-care during the “hustle and bustle” of daily life. Staying active may seem like something you want to start in the future, but there is no time like the present to start experiencing the mental and physical benefits of ongoing activity. You will not only find yourself moving more, but these fun mind-body activities will help combat disease and work out some of those mental knots. See the huge benefits you can expect to gain from yoga, running or even walking under the section heading – Mind-Body Wellness.

Stop Making Excuses

It’s cold. It’s hot. I’m tired. I don’t feel good. These are all reasons we use to justify skipping a workout. These lifestyle choices may provide you with a short-term benefit of relaxation, but they can have long-term repercussions on your health.

According to KGW, the leading causes of death for Oregonians include cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure. Key factors in many of these conditions are a lack of physical activity, poor diet and obesity. Working in only a few minutes of exercise each day, however, can significantly lower your risk factors.

Benefits of Exercise

In general, exercise is a great way to keep your weight in check, boost your mood, relieve stress and even help prevent diseases. Serotonin is a hormone that is released in the brain when you exercise, and this natural mood-booster can help combat sadness and depression. A hard workout can often relieve the stress that has built up in your body during the day, allowing you to rest easier during the night. As we age, our minds naturally move a bit slower, but getting your move on can help combat cognitive decline and even cancer, too.

There are specific benefits that are tied to various types of exercise, including:


Yoga provides both physical and mental wellness benefits, burning up to 340 calories in an hour. It’s also a great way to relax all the muscles in your body – including your brain! In addition, it helps to maintain a balanced metabolism, supports cardio and circulatory health and improves respiration, energy and vitality. Check out our Community Ed course in the Mind-Body Wellness section!


This is one of the most basic forms of physical fitness, burning around 242 calories per hour. Getting outside and taking a walk or hitting the treadmill can help burn calories, strengthen the heart, manage conditions like hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes and yield other health benefits. Check out our Community Ed course in the Mind-Body Wellness section!


Running is a more aggressive exercise, but you will see the benefits as you can burn around 600 calories an hour running at 5 mph for a 160-pound person. A faster pace for a heavier individual really pours on the benefits, with an 8 mph speed burning nearly 1,000 calories for a 200-pound person.

Running is an excellent way to improve your overall mental and physical fitness, boosting good cholesterol, increasing lung function and enhancing your immune system. You’ll even find that you can lower the risk of heart attack through running due to the increased elasticity of arteries and strengthening of your heart muscle. Runners also tend to sleep better, have increased focus over non-runners and even have signs of improved psychological functioning.

When you focus on your health, not only are you going to lift your mood, but you’ll also significantly reduce risk factors for heart attack, stroke and other diseases. Getting started with a healthy regimen isn’t hard, and you can begin with a course at Portland Community College today. We offer a wide range of Mind-Body Wellness courses for students of all ages. From learning yoga and pilates to Qigong and Tai Chi, it’s never been easier to get moving! Register online for our Portland Community College courses today and you’ll see the measurable benefits in your body and brain.