Inactivity is a disease more deadly than cancer, but unlike most cancers it can be cured by you through exercise. In 20 years failure to exercise at least 6 days a week will do as much harm as smoking 2 packs of cigarette per day. If you live a vibrant and youthful life, then staying active must be a priority.
Some of the benefits of exercise include; weight loss, decreased risk of chronic diseases, increased energy, mental clarity, improved sleep, better sex life, lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar, lower cholesterol. Exercise boost endorphins which make you feel good. It can also improve arthritis and lower the risk of osteoporosis.
Yet you don’t have to be a gym rat or an athlete to maintain an active lifestyle. There are so many ways to stay active and healthy.
Types of Activities
- Non Exercise or Lifestyle activities
- Leisure time
- Work around the home
- Personal care
Tips To Increase Non Exercise Activity
- Park farther than you normally do when you go out to places such as the mall or the store
- Take the stairs instead of elevators
- Walk to your co-workers offices rather than use the phone.
- Do dishes and hang laundry out to dry.
- Use a push mower instead of riding.
- Stand up several times during your work day if you have a desk job.
- Walk to lunch.
Key To Changing Exercise Habit
- Make it a ritual and don’t leave to chance. Create a schedule and respect the schedule.
- Start with something you enjoy
- Start slow but be consistent. If all you can do is 5 minutes of walking, that’s fine. Show up the next day another five minutes. After a week, we may be able to increase it to 10 minutes. Before long you may be able to go for 30 minutes.
How much exercise do you need?
If you are not accustomed to exercising, start with a brisk walk or some equivalent activity for about 30 minutes a day three to five times a week. Gradually increase your intensity and duration as you can tolerate. Ultimately you want to exercise about 30 to 60 minutes at least five days a week.
Add resistance training two to three times a week on non-consecutive days. Use light weights in the beginning or even an exercise band.
There are a lot of free resources online including chair exercises for people who have mobility difficulties.
Get What You Need
- Good sneakers
- Tracking device such as fitbit
- Exercise equipment; try it out first at a fitness center before buying.
- Exercise ball
- Use weights you already have such as food cans, fill old socks with bean etc.
- You may need to check with your doctor
- Start slowly
- Gradually build up
- Try different work outs
- Listen to your body
- Consider a personal trainer
- Join a gym
- After 4 to 6 weeks reassess your fitness level.