If you’re looking for a reason to get off the couch, you came to the right place! There are many benefits of living an active life:
- Makes you feel better
- Helps you fall asleep and sleep well
- Gives you more energy
- Helps you think better and faster
- Helps you handle stress
- Makes you healthier
- Helps you live longer
You will find that your heart and lungs will thank you because they will work better. You’re less likely to get many of the diseases that can shorten your life. These include coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. Your muscles and bones will thank you because they will be stronger and more flexible and your bathroom scale will also thank you because exercise burns fat and improves your body composition!
So, what does being “active” really mean? Getting aerobic activity includes walking, running, cycling, and swimming. They all make your heart and lungs work harder and build up your endurance. They also get more oxygen to your muscles, which allows them to work longer. To stay loose and flexible, stretch the muscles of your arms, your back, your hips, and your calves. This will make it easier to reach things on high shelves, to look under a bed, or perhaps to tie your shoes. Building muscles includes resistance training (lifting weights, doing push-ups, using elastic bands). It also includes strengthening the muscles around your belly and back. This can help you have better posture and balance, and help protect you from injury.
You may not even realize it, but your normal day is full of active events. And getting your 2½ hours of moderate activity a week – what experts suggest – is not that hard. Anything that raises your heart rate and makes you breathe harder counts!
Here are some tips for staying active at home:
- Give the kitchen floor a good scrubbing
- Wash the car, clean the garage, or wash windows
- Walk or bike to the store
- Use an exercise video for a little while in the morning and a little while in the evening
- Read the newspaper on a stationary bike
- You can also make family time active time! Try to plan something fun that the whole family will enjoy, like going to the zoo, taking a walk, bike ride or camping.
Remember: Try to schedule activity into your day just like you schedule a doctor or dentist appointment. This makes you the priority and the best thing about being active and fit is a better quality of life!