If you’re like the estimated 83,228,768 Americans who are inactive, you may feel like getting healthier is an unachievable goal. But it doesn’t have to mean spending countless hours sweating at a gym or counting every single calorie you consume.
Benefits of being active
Being active (or less sedentary) has countless benefits. Standing after sitting for a while can increase blood flow and reduce the risk of forming blood clots. You even burn more calories than when sitting! Standing will also strengthen your leg muscles! Standing can also help to align your spine and stretch out your back.
Get started being active and getting healthier
It all starts with the first couple of steps. Try these simple —yet effective tricks to get your body moving again.
- Stop looking for a close parking stall when you are out and about.
- Walk to your coffee shop in the morning (if it’s not too far).
- Find a friend who will walk with you. Walking buddies help build better relationships while getting some activity.
- If you do walk, add an extra block or two to your route.
- Make a special beverage to carry with you that’s only for walking, like cucumber water.
If you read these tips and thought this is still too much to take on, you’re okay! There are some easier tips and tricks to getting healthier. Try these four simple yet effective ways to get in some activity.
- Stand or try to stand through commercial breaks.
- Everyone in the family chooses a magic word or phrase and every time you hear it on television, raise your arms above your head. As you get more active, choose more common words.
- Set a timer for 60 minutes, and when it goes off, walk to your kitchen and get a drink of water. Not only are you getting in steps, but you’re also hydrating!
- Set small goals that are very achievable and celebrate them! If you have inactive friends too, you can create a group and support each other’s efforts.
Setting achievable goals for exercise.
When retraining our bodies (and minds) to be active again, it’s important to set realistic goals you can achieve. Once you achieve your goal, celebrate! Acknowledge it was an accomplishment. Then slowly increase your goals. Over a month or two, you may find yourself walking a mile before you could walk to the end of your driveway.
Keeping the activity going
The most important thing to remember when reactivating your body is that you don’t have to compare yourself to anyone else. Every single goal is an accomplishment. Getting active isn’t about forcing yourself to work out. Getting active is about moving your body a little more than you did the day before. And, if you find yourself not wanting to exercise, go back to standing during commercials or play the magic word game.
A health note about getting active
Before you begin any exercise — especially if you are inactive or sedentary, consult your Primary Care physician or provider first. If you are unsteady on your feet, consider contacting think’s physical therapy department and attending our gait class. Our physical therapists can teach you some effective techniques to stabilize your balance while standing and walking.