Are you having a hard time fitting in exercise? A study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that less than ½ of Americans engage in the minimum-recommended amount of physical activity of 2.5 hours a week. That’s an average of 21 minutes per day, 7 days a week. Physical activity does not mean you have to run laps or lift weights, which requires you to set aside blocked times. It simply means moving at a moderate level, raising your heart rate between 65%-85% of your maximum heart rate. Don’t know what that means?..... Make sure your heart is pumping and your breathing has become more rapid. Even if you can’t fit all 20-30 minutes in all at once, you still receive benefits by doing two or more shorter burst of exercise throughout the day. Think of exercise as leading an active lifestyle.
A simple way to do this is by walking, something you don’t have to think about. So when you are sitting at your desk for long periods of time, get up and take a quick walk to clear your head, move a little bit, and give you more energy. If someone really makes you mad, walk away and go “blow off some steam”. This usually gives you time to process everything and think more rationally before you say something you wish you would not have (maybe more of us should park our cars on the side of the road and walk a bit after someone cuts us off!). Exercise can even be fun with the whole family. You can go for pre- or post- dinner walks, crank up the music and boogie down, take the stairs whenever possible and see if you can beat your quickest time going up them. We all have heard park farther away from the doors, but have you thought to drive part way somewhere, park the car, and walk the rest of the way? During TV commercials challenge each other to do squats, push-ups, and sit-ups. Work in the yard and garden together, play in the back yard together, and walk or run for charity.
There are many benefits of walking. It helps you feel full of energy, relieve stress, improve sleep, and build strength and endurance making your body more efficient. Therefore, walking helps you feel good about yourself. Fighting colon and breast cancer are some benefits of walking that you may not realize, but it also helps with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and even depression. I know it’s easy to spend a lot of time sitting in front of the computer or television, and it’s the same for our kids too. So let’s take advantage of summertime, the warmer weather, and longer days of light to fight the urge to slouch on the couch. Instead let’s get up, move, connect with our friends and family, make exercise part of our lifestyles, and last, but not least, set an example for the kids in our lives!
This article was written by Sonia Maranville, owner of Sonia’s Fitness Training. She is a Certified Personal and Group Fitness Instructor through the National Exercise Trainers Association (NETA). She has been in the Fitness industry since 2005. She can be reached at 330-806-2452 or firstname.lastname@example.org.