One of the biggest problems today is inactivity. We all know that exercise is good for us but we avoid it like the plague. The usual reason is that you are too tired or too busy. The real Waterloo is that you are afraid that exercise has to be really vigorous in order to be worthwhile, and that is the real kicker.
The truth is that movement is movement and that the more you do of it the healthier you will be. You don’t have to train for a marathon in order to adopt a healthy lifestyle, because even moderate activity can make a difference.
Make a list of the physical things that you on a typical day. If you find that most of your time is spent sitting, make another list of the ways that you could move more. It could be walking up and down the stairs at work instead of taking an elevator, walking to the store or library instead of driving your car, or any other way that you can think of to get a few more steps into your life.
Eating well is another part of a healthier lifestyle. Know how many calories you need and what food groups you should be focusing on. For most of us, the key is making small changes, like taking a few extra steps or adding fruit to your bowl of cereal. Can you at least do that?
Turn off the television, or if you like that background noise for company, use commercials as a time to do exercise repetitions. Insert an exercise video in your DVD player and do something really physical. I recently learned that I can work up a considerable sweat just walking in place with an at home walking video. Who knew? Play a game or take a walk. Anything is more active than sitting on the couch.
Walk more. When you go to the mailbox take a stroll around the neighborhood. Get a treadmill or measure off a half mile distance the next time you are out in the car and walk there and back several times a day. Do some active chores like gardening, shoveling, raking and sweeping. Yes, they all count toward your movement quota.
What can a healthy lifestyle do for you? A healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke or diabetes. A healthy lifestyle can improve joint stability, increase range of motion, maintain flexibility, maintain bone mass, prevent osteoporosis, improve your mood, reduce stress, improve memory and the list goes on. Moving your body more can improve the quality of your life, make you feel really good, promote health and independent living.
Make small changes. One suggestion is picking out three foods that you buy regularly, read the labels and then try to find a lower calorie substitute. The idea is to be aware of what you are doing and what you are putting in your mouth. After years of inactivity you may think that feeling sluggish and out of sorts is normal. It isn’t. Make small changes at first. It isn’t about signing up for a gym membership in an “all or nothing at all” effort to fix yourself, it is about making small changes and putting some movement into your life.