By: Diana Cagliero
Exercise is one the best things you can do for your health!
While we hear about how exercise can lead to great health benefits, like
lowering your blood pressure or improving blood circulation, it can be hard to
fit exercise into your daily life.1
The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes (that’s 2 and ½ hours) of moderate aerobic exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous (strong) aerobic activity per week, or some combination of the two. Examples of moderate aerobic exercise could be power walking or gardening. Vigorous aerobic activity includes running or walking uphill. Generally, most guidelines suggest you aim for 30 minutes (a half hour) of physical activity every day to reach your goal. Listed below are practical tips that you can include in your daily life to improve participation in exercise. Remember, it is important to check with your healthcare provider first to make sure it is safe for you to exercise.
- Use the stairs when you can: Taking the stairs is the easiest (and often most overlooked) way to get more movement into your day. Just by skipping the elevator, you could burn just around 65 calories in 15 minutes.3
- When watching TV, take breaks between commercials or episodes: Try doing some exercises like squats or stretches or simply walking around the room every time there is a break in your show or after every episode.
- If you have access to a bike, take a ride! Bike riding is a great and fun way to exercise. Be sure to ride safely, wearing a helmet and following pedestrian riding rules.
- If you drive or take the train or bus for transportation, try parking far away from the entrance in your parking lot, or getting off a stop earlier so you can walk and get some extra steps in. If you find yourself sitting on the train or bus for long periods, try to get up and move around every 90 minutes or so (you can even set an alarm to remind yourself).4
- Take part in fun activities that encourage exercise: Some examples include dancing, bowling, or even walking in the park.
Find a friend to exercise with! Exercising with a friend can help you stick with your goals of being active throughout the week—while helping your friend stay active too!
Find a physical activity that you love: A huge part of being motivated to be active is enjoying what you do! Try new things, like different exercise classes (most have the 1st class free), or different type of activities or sports. Yoga, stretching or at-home exercise activities are also great options.6
Overall, choose a reasonable
exercise routine that works for you. If you’re new to exercise, it’s important
to keep working slowly at your own pace, and not to give up on yourself! Make
time to celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small. Whatever type of
exercise you try, remember you are working towards a healthier heart!