In my last blog I shared my motivations to exercise, and received wonderful comments from you.
One theme was ideas for exercise besides the traditional activities in a gym. Here are some ideas mixing traditional with less traditional activities. Living in Metro-Atlanta provides the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of sports and recreation, both indoors and out.
Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, providing many benefits including increased energy, better sleep, improved self esteem, weight management (but not necessarily weight loss), improved stress management, better blood sugar regulation, decreased blood pressure, decreased LDL (bad) cholesterol, increased HDL (good) cholesterol, decreased joint pain, improved movement, the list is almost endless. Research overwhelmingly recommends 30 minutes of exercise each day for health, 60 – 90 minutes of exercise each day for weight loss, and 60 minutes of exercise each day for weight maintenance. So how do YOU fit in this time in the busy lives we live?
- Make exercise or activity a priority. Start with challenging yourself to do some activity everyday for the rest of August.
- Turn up the radio and dance!
- Work in the garden – yours or a community garden.
- Take a walk in the park or on the greenway!
- Pick 3 – 5 activities, sports or games that you liked when you were young and choose to do them.
- Hoola Hoop! It’s great for your “core” muscles – abdomen, back, obliques (waist). It’s also good for strengthening your gluteals (behind) and legs if you aren’t so good!
- Walk around the ball field while your kids are at practice. Get another parent to join you!
- Take a 5 – 10 minute movement break every hour. Productivity will increase!
- Take a yoga or Pilate’s class.
- Go for a bike ride, and take your family!
- Take a hike in the mountains and enjoy nature for a day.
- Go rock climbing.
- Take a dance class.
- Strength train 2 - 3 times each week during the commercials in an hour TV show.
- Move more - take one flight of stairs then catch the elevator, use the farthest bathroom, walk when you talk on the phone, park farther away, take a lap around the store before you shop, etc...
- Join a walking or running club, a bicycling club, a martial arts studio, a tennis team, a softball team, a basketball team, a Frisbee golf club, flag football team, etc...
- Focus on the health benefits of exercise. You will notice these benefits immediately. It may take 1 – 2 months to lose a pound from exercise alone!
- Set a goal to build up to 10,000 steps each day – then you won’t have to exercise!
- Wear a pedometer to count your daily steps.
- Realize that you are not at the same fitness level as you were when you stopped exercising. Start where you are today, and build your fitness from today forward.
Which one of these activities will you be partaking in? Tell us in comments below.