Activity & Exercise
As a group, Americans are one of the most inactive populations in the world. The experts discuss the reasons for this, study our behavior, analyze data, and so forth. The bottom line is that the experts and each of us as individuals all agree that some sort of exercise and activity once a day, or at least 3 times a week, can lead to better health.
So why don’t we exercise, walk, get a little more fit? WE CAN DO IT, YOU CAN DO IT, invest in ourselves. Try it for just 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week to start with. Walk 1 mile each time.
Now is the time to join this website and start tracking your activity. You will find hundreds of activities that can be tracked, distance recorded, and your own personal records kept. It is easy to use and don't forget - invite a friend to join you. Join now and begin your journey to a healthier you.
Make a list of fun activities that you enjoy and look forward to doing that help you get a little exercise and movement during the day. "Working Out" tends to make us think of how painful and boring getting exercise can be to those of us who don't have an exercise program now. There will most likely be a place for "working out" for all of us down the road as we change our exercise habits, but here are some ideas on how to start slow, simple, and make it fun:
- Park farther away when you go to the store, mall or work.
- Pay inside, instead of paying at the pump.
- Walk your dog - everyday.
- During your break at the office, walk for 10 minutes.
- If you have a layover at an airport, take a walk around the terminal.
- Take the stairs, not the escalator.
- Walk around the mall before and after you shop.
- Join a dance class.
- Thinking about going to a movie, go to a park and enjoy a walk.
Getting into a normal exercise routine that you can enjoy will lead to other exercise options for you. Maybe a 5K walk or join a fitness club at one of the fine locations in our community. Remember, the goal is to work into a program that you enjoy and that is right for you.
Experts will tell you that:
- Increasing the intensity or the amount of time that you are physically active can have even greater health benefits and may be needed to control body weight.
- We should encourage children and teenagers to be physically active for at least 60 minutes each day, or almost every day.
Q: Should I warm up before exercise?
Absolutely. See your healthcare professional or physician before starting any exercise program. Here are the "Exercise 5" to remember:
- Warm UP
- Stretch Out
- Cool Down
- Stretch Out (Again)
Q: Is it possible for me to exercise too much?
A: Yes! If you are just starting out - take a day off every other day. If you feel that you are fatigued during the day, feel like your soreness is not recovering properly, have caused damage to muscles, or generally are not feeling well then you may be exercising too much. Your body needs time to recover. If you feel you have created a medical issue for yourself, then consult your physician.
The generally accepted rule for people who start an exercise program is to keep the exercise to 2.5 hours a week. This will give you the opportunity to recognize health benefits. This is exercising at a moderate level during this time. Over time, experts recommend that you can increase this to 3 to 5 hours a week.
Q: I’m on a diet to lose weight. Will exercising just make me hungrier?
Moderate exercise usually does not increase appetite and may actually help to control it. And people who exercise regularly are more likely to keep the weight from coming back after losing weight.
Before starting any physical activity program consult your healthcare professional or physician.