Most of us know that movement is good for our health. It helps reduce our risk of chronic diseases, improves mental health and cognitive function, and can extend our years of active living.
Yet, fewer than half of adults get the recommended amount of physical activity each week. Check out the following tips to help you stay active for a happy, healthy life.
Find something you enjoy!
Pick activities you enjoy and that match your abilities. This will ensure you can stick with them for a long time. Movement will become a gift, rather than a chore.
Find a friend!
Moving with others has so many benefits. It is often more fun and helps you build meaningful relationships. Friends can act as accountability partners and add a level of safety to the activity. If you have children, find ways to be active with them.
Join a class, team, or event. This is an easy way add friends and accountability. Signing up for a team or event adds a level of commitment over time and gives you something fun to look forward to.
Find opportunities to move throughout your day!
If you are pressed for time, be creative and find opportunities to get more movement in throughout your day. While at work, go to the breakroom or restroom on the opposite side of the building. Park further away at the grocery store. Take the stairs rather than the elevator. Pace back and forth while you are on a phone call.
Focus on the immediate benefits!
Focusing on calories burned or weight lost can lead to discouragement and make movement feel like a chore. Instead, focus on how movement makes you feel and the immediate benefits it provides. As you shift your focus, movement will become an essential fuel you don’t want to miss.
Where Do I Start?
If you aren’t sure where to start, walking is a great option. Work up to 30 minutes a day. To make it more interesting, choose a scenic location, listen to your favorite music or audiobook, or invite a friend.
If you have a chronic health condition such as heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, or other symptoms, be sure to check with your healthcare provider to make sure you are ready to start.
Book: No Sweat by Michelle Segar
ACE Exercise Library: www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/exercise-library/
CDC Physical Activity Basics: www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adding-pa/index.htm