Move more & sit less to protect your health

Are you getting enough exercise?

If you are, keep up the good work. If you aren’t, you’re not alone.

Only 23 percent of adults meet the minimum guidelines for physical activity.1 Which means chances are pretty good, you know you could do better.

You know…go for a walk. Get to the gym. Watch less TV. If it’s been on your mind, now is always the perfect time to start.

You don’t need to do grueling workouts, run marathons, or train like a bodybuilder. But you can make simple changes to your day to exercise, get your steps in and improve your health.

Need a little boost of motivation to help you be more active?

Here are 5 fitness facts to help you get moving…

1. Burn baby, burn. Exercising increases your metabolism during AND after your workout. Which means it’s a great way to burn off that dessert.

2. Bone up. Regular physical activity improves bone density. The benefit: Stronger bones help prevent osteoporosis and fractures.

3. Track it. Keeping track of your weight, daily steps, miles or calories burned can motivate you to keep trying, work harder, and measure your success.

4. Mix it up. Running, lifting weights, and cycling count as exercise. But you don’t have to do a formal workout. Working the yard, playing with your kids, cleaning the house, and even walking through the mall or grocery store count as exercise. It’s called non-exercise activity thermogenesis…a fancy term for the calories you burn even when you’re not formally exercising.

5. Add up your exercise minutes. Struggling to get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day? Don’t stress. Even short bursts of exercise count. Try taking three 10-minute walks.

What do you think? Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day doesn’t sound so bad now. Right?

Struggling to Find Time to Be Active?

“I don’t have time.” It’s the number one excuse for not being active..

Only about 53 percent of adults exercise for at least 30 minutes per day. The rest are active for about 17 minutes a day. And sometimes that’s in really short sessions, like walking from the parking lot to the store.

Are you really too busy to be active 30 minutes a day?

Maybe your schedule is packed with work, school, family, and other things. But take a closer look at how you spend your time.

  • Can you fit in a walk, gym/home workout, or fitness class?
  • Do you have 5 to 10 minutes of free time several times during the day?
  • Can you get more steps per day without making big changes to your routine?

The Clock is Ticking…

Think about it like this. Everybody has the same 1,440 minutes in a day. Can you find time to spend just 30 minutes a day on being more active? It’s worth the effort.

Research shows that people who are active at least 30 minutes a day are TWICE as likely to avoid:2

  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Certain types of cancer

When you’re active, you’re also TWICE as likely to feel happier and live longer, than people who aren’t.

10 Reasons to Be More Active

Still think 30 minutes is too much?

If you don’t have time for a gym workout or 30-minute walk, try being active in 5-10 minute sessions a few times a day. Take this for a test run and see how you feel. Research shows that physical activity can help:3

1. Improve sleep
2. Control weight
3. Improve strength and flexibility
4. Lower cholesterol
5. Improve heart health
6. Build stronger bones
7. Lower blood pressure
8. Boost mood
9. Reduce stress & anxiety
10. Lower body fat

Favorite Workout? Do Your Thing in 30 Minutes

Aiming for at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day is the goal. But don’t pick an activity you despise. You’ll be miserable, and you won’t want to keep doing it. The best workout is the one you’ll actually do. Pick an activity you enjoy, and start moving. Try:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Running
  • Hiking
  • Dancing
  • Yoga
  • Gardening
  • Weight Lifting
  • Taking a fitness class

13 Easy Ways to Be More Active

Still wondering how you’re going to fit 30 minutes of physical activity into your day?

If you don’t have time for a 30-minute workout, here are some easy and creative ways to be more active that don’t require a formal workout or gym membership:

1. Take the stairs.
2. Host a walking meeting at work.Walking Meeting
3. Walk to deliver a message to someone (instead of yelling, calling, or texting).
4. Use a stand-up desk.
5. Take the dog for a walk.
6. Exercise during commercials (jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, squats).
7. Clean the house…FAST.
8. Play in a park (swingset, playground, games, sports).
9. Use your home exercise equipment (cycle, treadmill, weights).
10. Park far away when you go shopping to get extra steps.
11. Speed walk through the store when you shop.
12. Work in the yard.
13. Walk around when you’re on the phone.

Now you know how to be more active, even if you’re short on time. Carve out time for a 30-minute workout, or break it down into bite-sized sessions of physical activity. You’ll feel better, be healthier and live longer.

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