Regardless of age, shape, size and ability, we can all benefit from a physically active lifestyle. Any form of exercise or movement of the body that uses energy is a form of physical activity. Did you know that the more you move, the less likely you are to develop chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension or stroke?
10 Tips the Pros Recommend
Start activity slowly and build up over time – If you haven’t been physically active for a while, don’t rush it. This will help you prevent injury resulting in willingness to try again another time. After a few weeks, increase how often and how long you are active.
Get your heart pumping – For health benefits, you will need to complete at least 2 ½ hours each week of physical activity that requires moderate effort. Make sure to spread these activities over the week but do them at least 30 minutes at a time.
- A brisk walk with dog around neighborhood.
- Going for a bike ride at a local park or bike trail with the family.
- Take a water aerobics class at your local city pool or create your own routine at home if you have a pool.
- Grab your skates and the family and head to the roller rink and move your arms as you skate around the rink.
Strength train for health muscles and bones – If you can commit to strength building activities 3 times per week in 10-minute increments, you will be on your way to building muscle and reducing fat!
- Lifting weights – start with 2-5lbs per weight if you are new to strength training an. Each week you can increase 2-5 pounds as you see fit.
- Push-ups – if this is new to you, start off with 10 a day and increase by 10 each week.
- Sit-ups – start with 20 the first week and increase in increments of 10 each week. As you increase total count, I like to split them up throughout the day (half in the morning and half at night).
- Resistance bands – this is a great activity to do while you are watching tv at night and it keeps you busy so that you don’t think about running to the kitchen for an evening snack.
- Heavy gardening – take out your aggression and pull those weeds and sift your soil.
Take control of your day – Make active choices wherever you go. Every little bit of activity ads up. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for a 10-minute walk on your lunch break, or park further away from your destination and get those steps in.
Mix it up – Here’s your chance to incorporate your hobbies into exercise without even knowing it. Play catch with your pets or start a garden. Put on the radio and dance to your favorite songs, or maybe instead of buying your next pizza, you can make it by scratch – kneading dough is a great way to work those arm muscles. Want to save some money? Get rid of the landscaper or pool company and do it yourself – not only will you increase your activity, but that extra cash can be used for a gym membership or dance class that you’ve always wanted to take.
Use the buddy system – Are you competitive? Start up a walking group and set goals to track your progress. What about grabbing the kids and heading outside for a game of volleyball or a bike ride.
Set goals and track your progress – Not physically seeing the progress yet? That’s okay because you are tracking your progress and on paper (or your friendly app) you are seeing success. Journaling at night before bed is a great way to track your favorite activities and help you think of new ones to try out.
Increase activity time – After a few weeks your body will adjust to your activity level, and it will begin to think what you are doing is too easy…this is when you want to turn up the heat and increase your strength training reps and pounds as well as increase the length of time you are being active.
Increase your effort – This is a great time to get competitive and challenge your friends or family members to a duel on the court or a race around the track. Turn that brisk walk into a jog or join a spinning class instead of riding your bike around the neighborhood.
Have fun – Most importantly, with any activity, have fun! Physical activity is NOT a chore. Think of it as an investment in your health so that you can feel better about yourself and the way you live your life. Choose activities that you enjoy and that fit your lifestyle.
Our NOAH providers are here to help you create and manage your healthy lifestyle habits. Need help setting or sticking to your goals? To schedule an appointment call 480-882-4545 or request one online.