Ways to Increase Physical Activity

Are you busy and can’t seem to find time to include a workout in your day? Life can be hectic and many people find it difficult to include physical activity in their schedules. It seems overwhelming to think about spending hours at the gym or running a marathon. The good news is, you can engage in just thirty minutes of moderate exercise five days a week, and have major health benefits! The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, which has been shown to help prevent heart disease and strokes, the #1 and #4 deadliest diseases in the United States.

Thirty minutes of moderate exercise has also been shown to be beneficial to those with diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, and obesity. Exercise is also the #1 treatment for fatigue, which is what many people attribute to not working out to begin with. Beyond physical and health benefits, research strongly supports the benefit of exercise in decreasing depressive and anxious symptoms. Exercise clearly has physical and mental health benefits that improve our overall quality of life!

Here are some helpful tips on ways to get that thirty minutes of exercise in your day…and you don’t even have to step into a gym!

At home:

  • Clean the house with the whole family! This is a great way to get the entire gang moving and getting the heart rate going. Also, there is the added bonus of having a clean house afterwards!
  • The average American adult spends about five hours a day watching television. During that time, get your thirty minutes of exercise by stretching, doing some jumping jacks, or pedaling a stationary bike.
  • If you have a dog, you can take him or her out for a walk every day! This is an easy way to get your thirty minutes of exercise, and your dog will be happy too
  • Park your car far away from the grocery store, and when you arrive home, bring one bag at a time inside the home.

At work:

  • Park your car further away than you typically do, and take the stairs rather than the elevator, if possible
  • Find a walking buddy at work who you could take a ten minute walk around with during lunch or break time.
  • Replace your office chair with a yoga ball chair. Even while you’re sitting all day, you are working out your core muscles!

For more tips:

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/physical-activity/increase-physical-activity.html

References:

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/American-Heart-Association-Recommendations-for-Physical-Activity-in-Adults_UCM_307976_Article.jsp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUaInS6HIGo