One Small Change: Get Your Move On!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

By Gail Watson, contributing blogger

We all know that exercising is good for us- but you don’t need to sign up at the gym to do it. Integrating small sessions of exercise into your day can give you the benefits you need.

You Don’t Need To Run A Marathon

The benefits of regular exercise are many:

  • Helps lower the risk of heart disease
  • Helps decrease blood pressure
  • Helps prevent and maintain diabetes
  • Helps reduce bone loss
  • Helps strengthens the heart and lungs
  • Help improves sleep
  • Helps Relieve depression and anxiety
  • Plus, it makes you look sassy in your jeans

 

The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 days a week to maintain good health. If you bump that up to 60 minutes a day you can reduce the risk of obesity by 23% and improve your blood sugar sensitivity which can reduce the risk of diabetes by a whopping 34%!

The best news is you don’t have to lace up and spend your time at a gym. It turns out that smaller increments add up to the same health benefits and beefing up your household chores count!

It Only Takes 10 Minutes
It’s great if you can do your daily exercise all at one time, but sometimes finding that time is often a challenge. Smaller sessions of at least 10 minutes of consistent moderate intensity will do the trick. Here are tips on how to sneak in exercise at home and at work. If you’re new to exercising, gradually add time, frequency and intensity. Remember to always consult your doctor before starting.

This week’s Goal: Add a few small (10 minutes) increments of exercise into your day

To Get Your Move:  
1. Take a clean up break: Sitting for too long? Get out the broom and duster and do a 10-minute power clean of your home and get two things done at once.
2. Stop and smell the roses: If you have a garden, don’t wait for the weekend to do your yard work, take a short 10-minute break to weed, or rake.
3. Squat by the stove: While waiting for the rice to cook, throw in some squats. And instead of walking back and forth to the fridge, add lunges to your steps.
4. Carry your groceries: Rather than pushing the cart to your car, carry your bags instead. This may also prevent you from buying unnecessary food.
5. Crank it up: Turn on the music and dance! I used to do with my kids- especially those antsy younger tikes. It gets everyone giggling too!
6. Lunch Break: Opt for a walk at lunch, or walk to the furthest place you can to buy lunch. Enroll a friend to stroll with you.
7. Dip in your office: On a conference call or long hold? Do chair dips in a sturdy chair. Try a series of leg lifts while sitting in your chair, squat against the wall, or stretch.
8. Breathe the air: After a bathroom break, take a quick detour down the stairs head outside for quick breathe of fresh air, then walk the stairs back up. This little detour will get your blood flowing and refresh your mind and body.

TELL ME: How do you add exercise into your day?

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