With every new year, it’s common to want to attempt to improve your health. While your mind is motivated, it’s a perfect time to take steps to improve personal health and fitness.
We are well into January, and if you haven’t already done so, it’s time to make sure you are focusing on some positive new habits. For many, physical activity is a great place to work towards new and improved habits.
Being physically active is vital to your health, especially for adults. Physically active adults are less likely to develop certain chronic diseases than inactive adults.
Here are eight tips to be more active.
1. Start activities slowly and build up over time
If you are new to exercise, build up slowly to help prevent injury. After a few weeks, increase the frequency and duration of your activity.
2. Get your heart pumping with some cardiovascular exercise.
For health benefits, shoot for at least 2½ hours of moderate activity each week. Good options are brisk walking, biking, swimming, or cycling. It’s ok to start small and add time every week incrementally. You can also increase your time by spreading activities over the week, but doing them for shorter amounts.
3. Strength-train for healthy muscles and bones twice a week.
Good options include lifting weights, doing push-ups and sit-ups, or working with resistance bands. Again, start small and build from there. Find a supervised class to attend to make sure you are doing the exercises correctly.
4. Make active choices throughout the day.
Every little bit of activity can add up, and doing something is better than nothing. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for a 10-minute walk on your lunch break, or park further away from work and walk.
5. Do something that you enjoy.
To avoid boredom, mix it up with a variety of activities. Ideas could include dancing, biking, or martial arts.
6. Exercise with a friend.
It will be more enjoyable than doing it alone. Join a walking group, attend fitness classes at a gym, or play with the kids outside. Build a support network — your network will encourage you to keep being active.
7. Have a system.
Set goals and track your progress. Schedule your activity as an appointment.
8. Have fun.
Find things that you enjoy, and the exercise won’t be a chore.
Take steps to make a positive difference in your own health in 2020!