Physical Activity Every Day
Heart disease is almost twice as likely to develop in inactive people than in those who are active. But if you are inactive, “take heart”: obtaining the benefits of exercise isn’t as difficult as you might think. The latest information about exercise shows that several short sessions may be as beneficial as a single long one if the total amount of exercise is the same. This means it’s easy to get much of the daily exercise your body needs in the form of everyday activities.
There are many ways you can work exercise into your day. Consider two big chores, for example—housekeeping and gardening. If you think of your home and your yard as a health club, you will perform double duty by keeping them, and your body, in shape. For a 150-pound person, raking leaves burns the same amount of calories as walking 3.6 miles in an hour. Mowing with a manual mower burns the same amount as playing singles’ tennis.
Throughout the day, there are numerous ways to get exercise in brief spurts, both at home and at work:
- Go for a short walk before breakfast or after dinner. Start with 5 -10 minutes and work up to 30.
- Walk to nearby stores and carry groceries home in your arms.
- When walking, pick up the pace from leisurely to brisk.
- When watching television, throw away the remote control. Better yet, get a stationary bike and ride it while watching television, or lift hand weights (or cans).
- Climb the stairs at home a few more times than necessary.
- Move around while talking on a cordless phone.
- Park at the far end of the shopping mall parking lot; wear your walking shoes and take an extra lap or two around the mall.
- At the office, brainstorm with colleagues while taking a walk.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get off the bus a few blocks early.
- Walk to other offices, rather than use the phone, when you need to talk to someone.
- At the airport, walk around while waiting for your flight.
- Stay at hotels where you have access to a fitness center.
- Take a jump rope or elastic exercise band in your suitcase.
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