How do you fit exercise into your hectic schedule and implement movement into your daily routine?
Let’s face it: When we are preparing for or getting home from a busy day, exercising is often the last thing we feel like doing. However, active movement does not have to be a hard task. It can be fun, and yes, there are so many benefits to taking care of ourselves physically.
I recently had a total knee replacement, and I was so nervous coming out of it — concerned about how I would get back to being “me” and resuming the activities I love. I had a very aggressive schedule of working with a physical therapist, as well as a regimen of daily exercises and stretches that my therapist had assigned me to do on my own.
The simplest tasks like walking were a struggle at the start of my recovery, but my father was my biggest inspiration. He is 87 and walks over 10,000 steps a day. We would walk together slowly, and I made progress every day. I pushed through and have found a new respect for true active movement. I strive to walk at least 10,000 steps a day and have come to appreciate a walk on the beach, a 30-minute cycle on the recumbent bike, a weightlifting session at the gym or a good swim even more. What’s your favorite way to work out?
Being active is important to a healthy lifestyle, and it’s essential for preventing serious problems like heart disease and diabetes. Your weight is affected by the energy you take in (what you eat and drink) and the energy you use (physical activity). Studies have shown that every step you take helps you manage your weight and improve your overall health. You may want to track your steps with a pedometer or an activity tracker. One worthwhile goal is to aim for at least 10,000 steps per day.
Another good target to shoot for is at least 150 minutes of exercise weekly. Here’s how you get there:
- Limit screen time (TV, computer and video games). Suggest or consider other options like reading, board games and playing outside.
- Enjoy the outdoors. Go to the park, plant a garden, ride bikes, hike, swim or enjoy a walk around the neighborhood.
- Take the stairs.
- Use lunchtimes to take a walk or move around your office.
- Take “active” vacations.
Also try to stay mentally active and maintain a positive attitude; this is equally important to living a healthy life. Also, it makes it easier to make healthy decisions and stay active.
Some tips for staying positive include:
- Choose to do something you enjoy. Many people prefer walking. You can walk outdoors, at home on a treadmill or with friends and family.
- Make it fun. Listen to music or audio books while you walk or jog. Watch TV or a video while you exercise.
- Write it down. Schedule time to be active just as you would any other important appointment.
- Spend time with friends. Limit your exposure to friends who are negative.
- Read an inspirational book.
- Volunteer. Helping others can improve your emotional outlook.
- Relieve stress through physical activity and relaxation techniques.
So, I invite you to fall into wellness and join me on a path to improved health. Yes, you must do the work, which means eating right, moving more and exercising that mental muscle!