There are countless reasons to work more activity into your day, but often this is difficult — particularly for people who have never been active or who haven't been active in a long time. With so many modern conveniences — from elevators, escalators and drive-throughs to e-mail, computers and cell phones — many people have come to value and expect speed and ease. These changes work against an active lifestyle in two ways. First, making time for physical activity takes forethought, planning and some level of effort. Second, it is very easy to be inactive. Why climb a flight of stairs to talk to a co-worker when you can stay at your desk and zip off a quick e-mail?
This may seem simple, but as anyone who has ever tried starting a new exercise program will attest, a whole array of issues can impede your journey to a healthier lifestyle. Many people are intimidated by exercise or don't find it enjoyable. They may not know how to start, or they may not be particularly interested in making exercise a part of their lives. Although there are numerous benefits to regularly planned sessions of aerobic and resistance training, there is much to be said for just incorporating more movement into your daily life.
Here are some simple ways to do that:
- Skip the elevator and the escalator — take the stairs.
- Park farther away.
- Walk to a co-worker's desk.
- Ditch the car for short trips.
- Skip the leaf blower and rake the leaves.
- Go outside and play with your kids (or your nieces and nephews or grandchildren).
You will have more success incorporating movement into your life if you enjoy it, if it's convenient and if it doesn't disrupt your life that much. Making a few minor changes can be the first step to becoming more active on a regularly scheduled basis, or it can be an end in itself; either way you'll see and feel the benefits.