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Have Fun With Exercise

We know we need to exercise & secretly envy people who fit activity into their busy schedules. Many people find the perfect fit by making exercise fun. What will is take for you to start today?

In my last blog, I shared my motivations to exercise and received wonderful comments from you.  One theme was ideas for exercise besides the traditional activities in a gym. Here are some ideas mixing traditional with less traditional activities. Living in Metro Atlanta provides the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of sports and recreation, both indoors and out.

 Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, providing many benefits including increased energy, better sleep, improved self esteem, weight management (but not necessarily weight loss), improved stress management, better blood sugar regulation, decreased blood pressure, decreased LDL (bad) cholesterol, increased HDL (good) cholesterol, decreased joint pain, improved movement, the list is almost endless.  Research overwhelmingly recommends 30 minutes of exercise each day for health, 60 – 90 minutes of exercise each day for weight loss, and 60 minutes of exercise each day for weight maintenance.  So how do YOU fit in this time in the busy lives we live? 

  • Make exercise or activity a priority. Start with challenging yourself to do some activity everyday for the rest of August.
  • Turn up the radio and dance!
  • Work in the garden – yours or a community garden.
  • Play!
  • Take a walk in the park or on the greenway!
  • Pick 3 – 5 activities, sports or games that you liked when you were young and choose to do them.
  • Hula Hoop!  It’s great for your “core” muscles – abdomen, back, obliques (waist). It’s also good for strengthening your gluteals (behind) and legs if you aren’t so good!
  • Walk around the ball field while your kids are at practice.  Get another parent to join you!
  • Take a 5 – 10 minute movement break every hour.  Productivity will increase!
  • Take a yoga or Pilates class.
  • Go for a bike ride, and take your family!
  • Take a hike in the mountains and enjoy nature for a day.
  • Go rock climbing.
  • Swim.
  • Take a dance class.
  • Strength train 2 -3 times each week during the commercials in an hour TV show.
  • Move more: take one flight of stairs, then catch the elevator, use the farthest bathroom, walk when you talk on the phone, park farther away, take a lap around the store before you shop, …
  • Join a walking or running club, a bicycling club, a martial arts studio, a tennis team, a softball team, a basketball team, a frisbee golf club, flag football team …
  • Focus on the health benefits of exercise.  You will notice these benefits immediately.  It may take 1 – 2 months to lose a pound from exercise alone!
  • Set a goal to build up to 10,000 steps each day – then you won’t have to exercise!
  • Wear a pedometer to count your daily steps.
  • Realize that you are not at the same fitness level as you were when you stopped exercising.  Start where you are today, and build your fitness from today forward.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Size Matters Fitnesss August 12, 2012 at 04:28 PM
As a personal trainer I can agree on the importance of being active. I disagree that 10,000 steps a day will eliminate the need for further exercise. I also strongly encourage everyone to implement a healthy nutrition plan. Activity alone is awesome, but why burn 1000 calories only to follow it up with a 1500+ calorie meal? Also, for those that are not interested in public activities, a certified professional trainer is a great option as many offer private in home training with little to no equipment needed.
Julie Schwartz August 12, 2012 at 09:36 PM
I appreciate your feedback and agree that incorporating steps into your day does not meet the need for strength and flexibility, both of which are important to fitness and quality of life, especially as we age. However, for most people walking is doable and the research on 10,000 steps (which equates to about 5 miles depending on a persons stride) is strong and compelling. Incorporating this activity, along with healthy eating, into your daily life is effective for treating and preventing chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some forms of cancer. This goal also emphasizes the need to also be active throughout the day. This message is showing more and more in recent research in exercise physiology. I do also agree that people can consume many more calories then they burn as the burn rate on most exercise equipment is greatly exaggerated. I have focused on nutrition in several previous blogs, especially fueling your body for sport and health. And personal trainers are excellent resources for information, motivation, and personally designing programs to meet individual needs. It's important to make sure your trainer is certified to work with your specific conditions. What most people don't realize is that many certified personal trainers scope of practice is working with healthy individuals. If you have a chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, or similar be sure your trainer is appropriately credentialed.

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