Make sure you Pay Your Body Back™ with enough activity every day to keep it working properly.
Getting enough activity can be difficult when you spend your day at a desk or behind the wheel. The good news is a small amount of activity can make a difference in your health.
A study at Duke University Medical Center found walking just 30 minutes per day, six days per week, was enough to cut the risk of metabolic syndrome.
“The results of our study underscore what we have known for a long time,” said Duke cardiologist William Kraus. “Some exercise is better than none; more exercise is generally better than less, and no exercise can be disastrous.”
A trip to the gym is great, but the trick is finding ways to be more active without a special trip. Making it easy to do every day.
So, how do you fit activity into your daily life?
- Use your steps: If you take 10,000 steps in a day you have done the equivalent of 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise. A pedometer is a great tool to keep track. Don’t think your steps are limited to walking, wiggling your hips while standing in line at the grocery store, pacing while on the phone or dancing in the kitchen while making dinner are great ways to increase your steps.
- Use your chores: Simple household chores like vacuuming, sweeping, washing dishes, folding and carrying laundry can be use to build you active lifestyle. An hour of house-cleaning is equivalent to 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise. Outdoor chores such as raking are more intense and provide the same benefit in just 20 minutes.
- Use chunks: Taking Fido for a 15-minute walk twice per day can fulfill your bodies need for activity. Breaking your activity into 10 or 15 minute chunks may be more convienient on busy days. It is also a great tool while traveling. If you can walk 15 minutes to your gate and 15 minutes to baggage claim when you reach your destination, you’ve done well for
yourself that day. Here are some other examples:
- Park farther away or take a lap around your building before you start work.
- Walk the halls at break time or at lunch. (However, you must keep going – don’t stop to chat. Pretend you are on the West Wing and walk & talk)
- Settle into the evening with a quick walk around your neighborhood.
- Extend activities such as unloading groceries by carrying one bag at a time.
- Take a “victory lap” around the office at the end of the day. Wishing everyone a good evening might buy you some good will as well!
- Give yourself credit: Building an active lifestyle is easier if you reward your efforts. Set a goal of getting the equivalent of 30 minutes of exercise every day for a week and give yourself a reward when you get there.
- Give yourself a break: Some days it is easier to be active than others. If you miss a day, don’t beat yourself up. Move on and do better tomorrow. Go back to the gym. Find a new class at the health club. Get excited about what you are doing for yourself!
If you don’t give your body enough activity each day, your body will pay you back increased risk heart disease, stroke, cancer and all other major diseases.
Pay Your Body Back™ with enough activity every day and it will pay you back with good health!
Eliz Greene works busy people to improve heart health, so they can work well, feel better, and stress less.
She is a heart attack survivor and the author of the Busy Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Heart as well as 3 other books on wellness. She writes one of the top 50 health and wellness blogs and is a sought-after wellness & stress management speaker.
If you are planning a women’s wellness program, workplace wellness program or programs for healthcare professionals check out EmbraceYourHeart.com to see if Eliz would be a good fit with your organization.