The Importance of Staying Active
Staying active is a huge part in your health! Now staying active does not necessarily mean always hitting the gym for a workout, staying active can be as small as taking a small walk to get your heart rate up a bit. You want to be able to find something that you are passionate about, or an activity that you enjoy doing. Staying active is important for your health and preventing several types of diseases, such as diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. It will also improve your quality of life!
The importance of staying active borders on being self evident, yet there is a tendency with our humanity to have some inertia to start and to be consistent. It is easy for me and my occupation to keep active as a practicing chiropractor because I am constantly in motion. Most of us tend to have a job where we are stationary and fixed. Having the body move in any way is how it can heal and energize itself. Activity is a process that is instilled in our physiology, health and presence of mind. It is fully comprehensive and can be of great benefit to all the areas of our life. It never demands results or perfection. It only requires motion- any and all- at any time. Intensity of the exercise is of NO importance to your health. Intensity only matters if you want to reach some goal or you want to perform on some level.
Move when you can, make it a game and don’t forget you got a shiny new health machine when you were born!
Below are some tips in order to try and stay active that we got from heart.org! There are also a ton of other articles on this site that can give you an idea of how to stay active to help improve your health!
- Just move more! There are lots of fun and easy ways to build more activity into your everyday routine, even if you’re not a gym hero.
- Park and go. How many times have you circled the parking lot to find that “rock star” spot? Spare yourself the stress by parking farther away (or even in a remote lot) and walking the rest of the way to your destination.
- Work out at work. Add some healthy activity to your work day. Take walking breaks, schedule walking meetings when possible, do some yoga or stretching during downtime, or walk to a nearby restaurant for lunch instead of driving.
- Schedule it. Having trouble making time for physical activity? Set an alarm on your phone or schedule it on your calendar – and treat it like any other important appointment.
- Be sweet to your feet. Keep your feet happy (along with your knees and legs) so you can move more without discomfort.
- Take the stairs. but it doesn’t up your activity level. Take the stairs instead, even if only for a floor or two. You may huff and puff at first, but over time, your body will thank you.
- Set a goal. Having a commitment or goal, like being active for at least 150 minutes each week, will help you stay on track. Share it with others to keep yourself accountable. If you’re the competitive type, challenge friends, family or coworkers and see who can consistently meet their goals over time.
- Go mobile. Catching up on phone calls? Walk your talk – in your neighborhood, on a treadmill or around your workplace. If you use a headset or earbuds make sure you can still hear traffic.
- Pick up the pace. When walking, running or cycling, increase your speed from leisurely to brisk or choose a route with more hills or inclines. Or alternate moderate and vigorous intensity. You’ll get a more intense workout in the same amount of time.
- Just dance. Clear some space, put on some music, and take a dance break! It can re-energize a work meeting, study session, lazy Sunday or game night. Let each person take a turn as DJ so everyone’s favorites get played.
- Put the screens on hold. Instead of heading right for the TV or game console after dinner, make that family activity time. Take a walk, practice a sport, or play a game of tag or hide-and-seek.
- Be an active parent. Experts say that what kids want more than anything else is time with their parents. To give them that, don’t just send them out to play — go play with them!
- Stress is no excuse to skip your workout. Regular physical activity can help you manage stress, sleep better and have more energy.
- Tune into fitness during TV time. Walk or jog in place or on a treadmill, lift weights, or do yoga while you watch your favorite shows. Break up a TV binge with a bit of activity between episodes. Or challenge the kids to see who can do the most burpees, pushups or jumping jacks during commercial breaks.
- Do what you love. Find activities that fit your personality and motivate you to stick with them.
- Make active chore cards. Let each family member draw a card each day with a different active task that needs to be done. Cleaning up after dinner, walking the dog, taking the trash out, folding laundry and unloading the dishwasher are all good ways to get your family up off the couch – and get the chores done.
- Get active for a cause. If you live to help others, active community events like the Heart Walks are a great way to do something healthy while giving back. Some even offer fitness training, team opportunities and prizes!
- Change up date night. An evening out with your spouse or bestie doesn’t have to mean dinner and a movie. Keep a list of activities that would be fun to do together, like walking, bowling, miniature golf, dancing, indoor rock climbing, or hula hooping! Get creative – the possibilities are endless.
- Fit in walking. Being more active doesn’t have to take up a lot of time. You can walk just about anytime, anywhere, and every minute counts toward your goal of at least 150 minutes per week.
- It’s a dog’s life. A dog can be a great walking or running companion. If you don’t have one of your own you could volunteer at a local shelter, help out a neighbor who is too busy to walk their dog, or start a dog-walking service!
This blog is a cooperation of both Dr. Michael McCall and Jessica Carn