Why is it Important?
When you take in more calories than you burn up, you gain weight. Physical activity—paired with taking in less calories—can help you burn more calories than you take in. This is how weight loss and control has been shown to work.
Physical activity can improve health. People who are physically active live longer and have lower risks for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers.
- Heart Disease and Stroke — Only 150 minutes of physical activity per week can put you at decreased risk for cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and stroke. Physical activity has the power to improve your blood pressure AND cholesterol levels.
- Diabetes — Diabetes is a growing disease in the United States, with an estimated 29 million Americans suffering. Only 120-150 minutes of moderately-intense physical activity per week has shown to lower rates of diabetes. This equates to less than 20 minutes per day!
- Cancer — Those who are physically active display lower rates of some cancers when compared to others. Some cancer risks impacted by physical activity include colon cancer and breast cancer. Additionally, cancer survivors who are physically active on a regular basis display improved quality of life.
“I Don’t Have Time to Be Active!”
- How much TV do you watch? Watching television can be a great way to relax and get together with those around you. During commercial breaks, try one strength technique. These strength techniques can include: planks, resistance bands, push ups, and stretching.
“I Don’t Have the Energy…”
- When was the last time you were physically active for at least 20 minutes a day?Physical activity has the ability to increase “feel good hormones” which improve energy levels and motivation; after just a few sessions you can feel the benefits and it will become easier next time!
- How can you avoid pain while being physically active? There are many gentle ways to be more active. Try a low impact activity, like yoga, that can improve flexibility while increasing your heart rate. You can also try swimming. Water supports the joints while being active. Swimming can decrease potentially uncomfortable perspiration and is gentle on the joints!
Tips To Start
How many hours are you using your legs every day?
Simple decisions such as walking (to work, from a farther parking space, the stairs instead of the elevator) can greatly improve your physical activity total. Those steps add up!
Do you have a physically active friend or family member?
Having a partner (or being part of a group) can make activity more fun while developing a sense of accountability. You wouldn’t leave your friend hanging, would you?
What are your eating habits like?
Improving nutrition can go a long way toward being a healthier person. By eating healthier, you can improve energy levels and get motivated to move! A varied diet can provide the nutrients to recover from activity, which can improve comfort and performance with the next session.