Remember to consult with your health care provider before beginning any new physical activity.
You’ve probably heard that being active and moving your body is good for you. Yet, it’s so easy to find excuses when it comes to physical activity, like: I’m too busy. It costs too much. I don’t have workout equipment or a gym membership.
Well I have good news: You can find many ways to be more active in your everyday life, without spending the extra time or money. And, my friend Tim, a certified personal trainer, will help show us how.
That’s right, Annessa. Look around your home and view it in a different way. You’ll find many ways to squeeze in physical activity throughout the day. And, that may help your body and your mood. So, let’s get started.
Try this the next time you’re folding laundry: instead of sitting down, stand. Standing uses your leg and your core muscles. Your core muscles are the ones in your tummy that help support and take pressure off your back.
Turn and bend to one side and grab an item of clean clothing. Then return to standing, fold it, squat and place it in the other basket. The turning motion helps strengthen your core. And, the squatting helps strengthen your legs. The level changes in bending to standing may raise your heart rate and help your heart health.
How many of us watch at least one TV show a day? I know I do. Instead of just sitting still while watching TV, have you ever thought about moving your body?
Try leg extensions. Sit on the edge of the couch or chair, with your back straight, both feet shoulder-width apart, flat on the ground.
Raise one foot from the floor straight out in front of you, keeping your knee in the same position without lowering or raising it. Raise your foot in a two-count, focused on slow movements. As you lift your foot straight out in front of you, make sure you tighten your quadriceps, or thigh muscle.
Once you reach the top of the movement, squeeze your thigh muscle and hold it for a one count. Then lower your foot for a two count, slowly and squeezing it, just as you raised it. Leg extensions help strengthen the large muscles in your leg, which may help make activities like climbing stairs easier.
Maybe you just like to relax while your shows are on. Well, remember, you still have commercial breaks! Those breaks are short, but there are many exercises you can do during this time. And remember, 2 or 3 minutes of movement are better than none!
During the show or at each commercial break, focus on a different body part or muscle group. Be your own personal trainer and pick up the movements you want to do. You’ll be amazed what 2 minutes of toning and stretching can do if you make a point to do it every day.
We spend a lot of our lives standing around waiting. These are precious moments that could be spent moving. So next time you find yourself standing around, try this. Find a wall and do some push-ups. Place your hands on the wall, a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
You’ll want your feet slightly farther away from the wall and your shoulders (maybe 1 to 2 feet farther away). This helps your body be at an angle to the wall. Bending your arms, lower your chest and head toward the wall until your face is 3 to 4 inches from the wall. Then press yourself back up, extending your arms.
Or, something else to do when you’re waiting is hold your arms out at your side at shoulder height. This doesn’t look hard, but after a minute or so, your arms will feel it.
You may find little gifts of time while you’re brushing your teeth or waiting for your kids to brush theirs, or when you’re on a telephone call that has been put on hold, or while you’re waiting for your home computer to power up. While you wait, move. These small bursts of activity may help give you energy and burn calories throughout the day.
Playing music just about makes any household activity more fun. Turn on your favorite music when you’re cleaning and dance around the house. It may help get your heart rate up and work all the muscles in your body. Plus, it just may put a smile on your face.
There are so many benefits to being active and moving your body, right Tim?
Absolutely! Exercise may help you have more energy, feel stronger, as well as maintain a healthier body weight.
Moving your body may help you build more muscle, and muscle is important. It protects your bones and helps you burn calories even when you’re at rest.
Being active may help your mood, too. As your mood improves, you may notice you’ll want to be more and more active. Plus, by moving, you’re setting a great example for your family and friends. You may help inspire them to get moving, too.
Remember, any time you can be active and move, go for it.
So, stay motivated on your journey to better health and keep moving!