Saturday, January 20, 2018

Get more for fit in ten easy steps

Some people like to travel.  I don't - at least not very often.  But... have you ever been visiting a city for the first time, and though you’re indulging in all of the local fare, noticed that you’re feeling lighter due to all the walking you’re doing (as you explore an exciting new place)?

I admit to having that feeling.  For me it was in South Carolina.  I think I actually lost weight because we walked all over the place, even though we were eating like kings at every meal.  I'm used to Texas-style BBQ, but theirs is pretty good too!

One of the simplest ways to have a BIG impact on your health and fitness is to move more - not exercise more - but rather add more movement into your daily life.  The human body isn’t designed to sit scrunched up in a chair all day, day after day.  It’s designed to move.

Adding some simple shifts to your routine can add up to make a major impact on your health and fitness over time.  This is great news if you struggle to follow a structured exercise program.  Here are some of the many benefits of moving more throughout the day:
  • Manage your weight with less effort
  • Improve your mental health and mood
  • Combat disease and increase longevity
  • Improve your sleep
  • Boost energy
  • Reduce stress
  • Improved brain function
Here are my top 10 Simple & Easy Changes that can make a big impact on your life:
  1. Take the stairs whenever possible.  This alone can change your fitness if you’re climbing stairs several times per week.
  2. Park farther away everywhere where you go.  At the grocery store walk your cart all the way back to the cart corral.  Most cart corrals are not that far away!
  3. Take a walk when talking on the phone – even if you’re just walking in circles in the driveway, pacing in the kitchen or walking the halls at the office.  This is a great opportunity to get up and move!
  4. At work, use the bathroom, copy machine or water dispenser that is farthest from your desk so you get in a few extra steps with each trip.  There's bonus points if you take the stairs to use the bathroom on another floor!
  5. Use TV commercials as a time to do some exercises, march in place or work on your perfect plank!
  6. Stand up at your desk or (better yet) do some desk stretches every few hours to avoid stiffness, pain and dysfunction.
  7. Dance. Yep, just flip on your favorite tunes and dance around.  You’ll get the dual benefit of boosting your mood while getting your blood pumping.
  8. Go on ‘active’ dates.  Take your sweetie on a hike, go paddle-boarding, play golf (and walk the course) or challenge them to a fun game of tennis, basketball or Frisbee in the park.
  9. Maximize time with friends.  Catch up during a power walk at the park.  Make memories while bowling, visiting the latest museum exhibit or just exploring your own city together.
  10. Volunteer in ways that allow you to be active.  Participate in a community clean-up project or dig your hands into the community garden.  Even helping out at a local walk/run event can be a great way to add more movement while contributing to your community.
The human body is designed to move.  Once we get into the habit of moving more, it feels better to be active.

Many of us are so overwhelmed by having to get in an intense bout of exercise several times per week.  Often times, we’ve forgotten how beneficial it is to our health, fitness and happiness to simply move more throughout the day.

You can improve your health and fitness by becoming more active - not just exercising or playing sports, but also adding more movement to your everyday life.

Everybody can do that, right?

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