It is officially a few months into the New Year. Everyone makes goals for the New Year. How is your year going so far? Have you stuck with your resolutions? Was your goal to be more active?
Being active is important for our overall health. Physical activity increases your heart rate, burns calories and strengthens muscles and bones. More benefits of physical activity include lowering blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, improving blood pressure, lowering stress and anxiety and improving mood.
The American Diabetes Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week. That may sound like a lot, but it comes out to about 30 minutes of activity 5 days a week. Did you know that doing physical activity for 10 minutes three times throughout the day is just as effective as physical activity for 30 minutes all at one time? So, if you don’t have 30 minutes to spend exercising or you physically cannot exercise for 30 minutes at a time, try breaking it into sections of time.
Here are some simple ways to add activity into your daily routine:
Walk your dog and play fetch.
Work in your garden.
Clean your house.
Lift weights, use resistance bands, march in place (standing or sitting) or walk around the room while watching TV.
Walk during your lunch break.
Exercise in your chair while at work.
Take the stairs.
Stand while on the phone, reading or eating.
Talk face-to-face with your co-workers (get out of your chair to walk to their office).
Do Tai Chi.
Take a walk after dinner.
Park farther away from the door.
Try to make an activity plan. Write down some activities that get your heart rate up and that you enjoy doing. Here are some tips:
Think of things you like to do.
Take it slow- start with 10 minutes a day and work up to 30 minutes five days a week.
Don’t overdo it. When you are exercising, you should still be able to carry on a conversation, but not sing a song. If you are out of breath and can’t talk, you are over exerting yourself. That is a sign to slow down.
Find a friend to exercise with.
Take a class.
Mix it up. Try several activities so you don’t get bored with the same routine.