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5 Ways to Be More Active

December 5, 2013 by Normand Richard, Certified Exercise Physiologist

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Work, family commitments, and now holiday activities make for a busy week.

While you may feel that you don't have time to fit in physical activity, it's important to be aware that even short sessions of physical activity can significantly improve your health.

Below are five ways to stay active along with some health benefits. We encourage you to try two of them and see how you fair!

5 Ways to Be More Active: 

  1. Small changes: Increase the three "S's" (standing, stairs, and steps) into your day. A pedometer can be a great motivational tool for tracking your steps and setting personal goals. Benefits: For those lacking time, accumulating small daily bouts (e.g., 10 minutes) of physical activity here and there has similar health results to longer workout sessions.
  2. Active commuting: Bike or walk to work on, at least, one day a week. Benefits: Active commuting improves cardiovascular (heart and blood vessel) health and helps maintain a healthy bodyweight.
  3. Body weight exercises during down time: Try to sneak in stomach squeezes, half-squats or heel raises when talking on the phone or waiting for dinner to cook. Benefits: Body weight exercises are no-cost, equipment free, can be done anytime, and are only limited by your imagination! Healthy muscles are beneficial throughout your day and life.
  4. Active recreation: Recreation league sports and playing with your children are great ways to stay active while having fun. Benefits: Switching inactive leisure-time activities (e.g., watching television or internet-browsing) for active alternatives, increases socialization and physical activity, benefiting your mental and physical health.
  5. Set goals: Determine how you will become active each week and set SMART goals. Benefits: Achieving a goal makes you feel accomplished and in control. This will help you progress to longer-term physical activity and fitness goals for maximal health benefits.

Photo credit: iStockphoto

Related: 

"Sneak In" Some Extra Physical Activity at Work

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