Are you too busy texting, friending and hashtagging to keep up with the other part of your “mobile” lifestyle: regular physical activity? Regular exercise is important because it improves your overall health and fitness, and lowers your risk for many chronic diseases.1 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests: } Two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking, every week. } Muscle strengthening exercises at least two days a week. Spread it out over the week so you don’t have to do it all at once. You can even break it up into chunks as small as 10 minutes to make it easier to fit into your day.
Breathe hard and break a sweat
Aerobic exercise simply means you’re breathing harder and your heart is beating faster. For moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, you should also be breaking a sweat. Any of these activities count as aerobic exercise:
- Walking fast
- Doing water aerobics
- Riding a bike
- Playing tennis
- Mowing the lawn
You don’t need fancy equipment or a gym membership to stay active. The key to success is finding something you like that fits your routine so you’re more likely to stick with it for longer.
Get the same health benefits in less time Intense aerobic exercise means your heart is beating very fast and your breathing is hard enough that you can’t say more than a few words without pausing. You can mix moderate and intense activity to get the same health benefits in less time. Follow this rule of thumb from the CDC: “One minute of vigorous-intensity activity is about the same as two minutes of moderate-intensity activity.”
Resist and repeat
Strength training should involve all your major muscle groups, like your legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders and arms. If you’re doing push-ups, do them until it becomes hard to finish another one. 8-12 push-ups would make a set. Strive for two or three sets. Remember, strength training doesn’t count toward your aerobic activity total. You could do any of these twice a week to reach your weekly strength-training goal:
- Lifting weights
- Working with resistance bands
- Using your body weight for resistance (such as push-ups or sit-ups)
- Gardening (such as digging and shoveling)
- Doing yoga
Stay social and stay healthy
Liking and sharing on the Internet can be entertaining, but you can enhance your social networking and get a health boost by joining a fitness group. Search the Internet to find groups for biking, swimming, running, hiking and many other activities you already enjoy or would like to try.
More healthy resources online
The empireblue.com website has fresh ideas for how you and your family can live the healthy lifestyle you desire. Log in today and visit the Health & Wellness section for more healthy resources.