Benefits of Exercise

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Emotional Benefits of Exercise

We all know that exercise is extremely beneficial to our physical health, but research has also shown that it goes way beyond that. Being physically active can also help our mental health, which many of us have been struggling with over the past few years. It can improve our mood and overall well-being, reduce feelings of depression and stress, help us sleep better, and increase our energy level. So, if you are sitting at your home right now reading this feeling down about whatever is going on in your life, get up and start moving. No matter what your physical level is or what mobility issues you have, start moving, at any pace, sitting down doing chair exercises, starting small with the amount of time and working your way up. Every bit of movement can have beneficial impacts to your overall health.

Try the following recipe courtesy of the US Department of Agriculture from MyPlate. For more information on Food for Thought programs, check us out online or email

Zingy Lemon Chicken Pasta

– serves 4

From MyPlate.Gov

8 oz whole wheat spaghetti, cooked

1 Tbsp tub margarine

1 Tbsp olive oil

20 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast (cut into ¾ inch pieces)

5 green onions, sliced

1 clove large garlic, minced

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 1/3 cups chicken broth

2/3 cup skim milk

2 tsp prepared mustard

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ cup almonds, chopped

2 Tbsp chopped chives or scallions

¼ tsp paprika

Combine flour, salt, pepper and cayenne in a saucepan; gradually add chicken broth and skim milk, stirring with a wire whisk until smooth. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add mustard and lemon juice. Allow to cool. Heat margarine and oil in a skillet. Add chicken pieces, green onions and garlic. Sauté until chicken is just firm and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Prepare pasta according to package directions and drain. Combine sauce, chicken and pasta mixture. Put into a 2 ½-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle top with almonds, chopped chives and paprika (if using). Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until heated through.

Nutritional Information: 540 calories, 15g fat, 35g protein, 9g fiber, 4g sugar