Many of us have excuses for not getting enough exercise.
Obviously we get from place to place, but it may not be enough to improve our health.
Various things can be done throughout the day to increase activity and its benefits.
Exercise can be fun and come in many forms.
The Mayo Clinic Guidelines: 7 Reasons Why You Should Increase Your Activity Level
1) Weight control
By increasing your activity level you burn more calories and build muscle. In turn, more muscle = more calories burned. A win-win!
2) Combat health conditions and diseases
Increasing physical activity helps to control blood pressure, prevent or manage diabetes and decrease bad cholesterol to mention a few.
3) Improved mood
Physical activity helps stimulate chemicals in the brain that increase happiness and control stress.
4) Boost your energy levels
By building muscles and endurance you have great stamina for activity. It also increases lung capacity.
5) Better sleep
Physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and into a deeper sleep.
6) Enhance sex life
You feel more energized and positive about your personal appearance.
7) Connections and having fun!
Being active with supportive friends or family increases the chances you’ll be successful reaching your goals. Vary your activity and make it fun!
Haven’t exercised in awhile? Physical activity is cumulative, and small increases can have big benefits! Perhaps your goal is to get twenty minutes of exercise at least three times per week. If you’re a little out of shape, even this can be a challenge. These twenty minutes can be done in small, more manageable increments such as four 5 minute sessions, or two 10 minute sessions. Of course, you can go for the full 20 minutes if you’re up to it! Once you get into a routine it becomes easier, and soon you will be doing 30 minutes or more.
Increasing your activity takes many forms. Taking walking breaks at work, parking further away from the door in parking lot, taking the stairs rather than the elevator, doing housework, walking the golf course instead of using a cart, gardening, hiking, taking discovery walks, going on scavenger hunts, geocaching, playing outdoor games with kids, dancing, increasing pace or distance during runs, kayaking, playing Frisbee, or wading in the water a bit deeper to get resistance are examples of how you might turn your daily routine into the opportunity to be more active. For surgery patients in recovery, or older adults with physical limitations, simply sitting in a chair and lifting soup cans overhead or kicking your legs will get the blood flowing and the muscles working.
As a physical therapist, the client’s need and want to keep moving is a prime reason for my profession. Keeping people active and healthy is our main goal. If someone loses function due to pain, stiffness or weakness they may seek help to get them back to their previous level of function. Our clients include parents who want to keep up with their kids from toddlers to teens, grandparents who want to be active with grandkids or friends, athletes that are limited in their skills, individuals that want to live on their own but are unable, or workers that are injured and no longer can perform their jobs. These are just a few examples, but all of them have one thing in common – the need to move and function.
From the time we are babies throughout our journey, movement matters. Use it or lose it is the saying goes – that holds true no matter what your age. So, let’s all get moving! Let’s Health UP together!
Health UP is a new and unique community partnership dedicated to making the healthy choice the easy choice. Through four themes Health UP aims to provide the Forest Lake Area with the support and the resources the community needs for a healthier, more well-balanced life. The four themes are represented by Eat, Move, Play and Connect. Check out the website at healthupfl.org.