Aside from healthy eating, the most effective step that you can take to improve your health is to get off your butt and exercise. Moving MORE will improve your circulation, increase your metabolism and promote weight loss, relieve stress and even decrease your risk for heart disease and high blood pressure.
Ready to start? ok, but if you are new to exercise or haven’t exercised since your teenage years, it’s important to begin slowly and increase your intensity gradually to prevent training injuries and muscle soreness. In exercise as in life, you literally must walk before you can run. It is also important to discuss your plans to improve your diet and increase your activity level with your doctor, especially if you have underlying chronic conditions or you are taking prescription medications. Let’s get started.
Any workout should always begin with a warm-up and some slow gentle stretches to increase the circulation to your muscles and joints. And don’t forget to hydrate and drink more water during your exercise, especially if the weather is warm.
If you are ready to exercise and get off the couch and start moving but the idea of “real” exercise scares you, there are alternatives that don’t require public exposure until you are ready. Here are a few suggestions to get you up and moving:
- Clean house. By cleaning one room every day you can burn an additional 300-400 calories each day. Dust, vacuum, rearrange and keep moving for a minimum of 30 minutes. Clean energetically and turn the TV off. Once you finish the entire house, do it all again. If you become proficient and need additional tasks to reach your 30 minute goal, add laundry, ironing, clean the kitchen or wax the floors.
- Is there a treadmill out in the garage taking up space or gathering dust? Move it in front of your television, directly in front of the screen so that you have to be WALKING on it to watch it. Make watching TV work for you, get up and moving 30 minutes or even an hour at a time as you enjoy that sitcom or reality show.
- Like video games? There are lots of new options that require exercise and movement, they include dancing, simulated athletic sports but are still fun games for yourself and your friends and family. Challenge them and increase your fun and intensity level.
- Speaking of dancing, if you like to dance, lock the door and turn up the music, set your timer for 30 minutes and dance your butt off.
- Put your walking shoes on and get up and outside and WALK. Walk everywhere, to the store, work, school, or just walk the dog at a brisk pace for at least 30 minutes.
Stop relying on the old “I don’t have time to exercise” excuse. If you have time to socialize online, stream movies, or play video games, you have more than enough time to exercise. Get off your butt and start MOVING for 30 minutes every day!