7 Ways to Stay Physically Active

If you're sitting for most of the day, it's easy to gradually slide into a sedentary lifestyle that has practically no physical activity.  Lack of exercise is a contributing factor to many major health concerns.  It's important to incorporate physical activity into every day.  Help yourself and your family move each day, and have fun with it.  Think about what your family can do to be active together to stay physically active each day.

physical activity, stay physically active

Here are some ideas to get you off to a great start.

1. Schedule Time for Physical Activity

  • Identify several free time slots during the day that you can move around.  Pick two 30-minute time slots you could use for physical activity. This will work well if you can find 30 minutes to exercise immediately before or after work, even if it is as simple as taking a brisk walk outside.
  • Add physical activity to your daily routine by finding opportunities to move.  Walk or ride your bike to work or to a friend's house, or walk the dog with your children. Exercise while you watch TV, or park farther away from your destination.
  • Try to walk, jog, or swim during your lunch hour, or take fitness breaks instead of coffee breaks. Try doing something active after dinner with your family, or on weekends.
  • Check out activities that require little time. Try walking, jogging, or stair climbing.

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2. Invite Others to Join You

  • Ask friends and family to join you in various activities.
  • Invite them to be active with you.
    • Set up a party or other social event with activities that get people moving, like dancing or having a jump rope contest.
    • Exercise with friends.
    • Play with your kids or ask them to join you for an exercise video or fitness game.
  • Develop new friendships with physically active people. Join a group, like the YMCA or a hiking club.


3. Energize Yourself

  • Plan to be active during the day or week when you feel most energetic.
  • Convince yourself that if you give it a chance, physical activity will increase your energy level; then try it.

4. Stay Motivated to Stay Physically Active

  • Plan ahead. Make physical activity a regular part of your family's schedule.  Schedule it in on a family activity calendar.
  • Join an exercise group or class. Sign your children up for community sports teams or lessons.
  • Use items like online calendars, fitness trackers and apps like MyFitness Pal to help you keep up with your diet and daily exercise goals. These devices will sync with your cell phone and provide feedback during the day to let you know how well you're doing.
  • Pick activities that don't require learning new skills, like walking or climbing stairs.
  • Exercise with friends who are at the same skill level as you are. Create opportunities for your children to be active with friends.

5. Build New Skills

  • Find a friend, personal trainer or coach who can teach you new skills.
  • Take a class to develop new skills and enroll your children in classes too, such as swimming, dancing, or tennis.

6. Use Available Resources

  • Select activities that don't need costly sports gear, such as walking, jogging, jumping rope, or doing push-ups.
  • Identify cheap, local resources in your area, such as programs through your community center, park or recreation group, or worksite.

7. Make the Most of All Conditions

  • Develop a set of activities for you and your family that are always available regardless of weather, such as indoor cycling, indoor swimming, stair climbing, rope skipping, mall walking, dancing, and active games that you can play indoors.
  • When the weather is nice, try outdoor swimming, jogging, walking, or tennis.

Incorporating movement into your daily schedule will help you and your family stay healthy over the long run.  It will help you avoid health issues related to weight and major illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.


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