Eight Tips to Be More Active in 2020

bemoreactive(1)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!

Beat the Winter Doldrums

Does the winter weather have you down?  Here in Western Pennsylvania, we’ve run the gamut from extreme frigid temperatures to snow days and rain storms over the past few weeks.  It’s normal to start feeling a little depressed this time of year.

One way to combat a bad mood is with exercise.  Even so, the gym can get tedious day after day.  At our house, we like to be able to get out and take walks on a regular basis.  If you feel like you can’t get outside though, due to poor walkway conditions or temperatures, consider visiting an indoor attraction to boost your spirits.

We spent one of the extremely cold days of January at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.  Not only did we get to stretch our legs, but we basked in some sunshine as well.  While it was a very cold (19 degrees!) day, it didn’t feel like it under the glass.  The sun was shining through and everything looked beautiful.  It was a big mood booster, as we felt like we’d escaped to the tropics!

The Pittsburgh area is full of museums and indoor venues, so try stepping outside of your normal gym routine to give yourself a little boost through the rest of the winter.

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Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens on a frigid January Day

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Inside it’s warm and sunny.

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Art mixed with lush greenery.

Exercise Your Way Through the Holidays

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The holiday season is often packed with the hustle and bustle of planning events, shopping for gifts and travel.  During this time, you can find yourself stressed out and lacking energy.   Be proactive in taking care of yourself during this busy time.  One great way to do this is through exercise.

An easy way to reduce stress and improve health is to get moving.  You can do this maintaining your active exercise routine or incorporating spurts of activity into your day.  This could include taking a walk or cleaning the house.   Make a point to do something every day.

I know it seems like a busy time, and exercise might not be a top priority but try to work it into your daily activity for a healthier holiday season this year.