Ask people you know to define healthy lifestyle. You can bet that the word exercise will always come up. Now, go ask these same people if they engage in any physical activity. Don’t be surprised if you hear more no’s than yes’s. Exercise is one of those things that we know is good for us but we still don’t do it. Why is that? People have all sorts of excuses. But no excuse makes it valid for you to skip exercise and be a couch potato for life.
Leading a sedentary lifestyle makes you vulnerable to a multitude of health problems including obesity, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. If these do not alarm you enough then you should read about the 20-year-old game design student, Chris Staniforth, who died from pulmonary embolism after long hours of sitting and playing video games.
Being more active doesn’t have to be as hard as you imagine. You don’t have to enroll into an expensive fitness program at the gym or lose half of your day jogging around the neighborhood. Simple routines such as these mentioned below will give you more physical activities that will keep your health in tip-top shape.
Park far away
The objective is always this: park as closely to the destination as possible. But it should be the opposite. Parking as far away as possible gives you an opportunity to walk. Walking is a great aerobic exercise that can increase heart rate and improve circulation. If you complain that it’s too cold to walk, button up your jacket and wear a hat. If you’re going to the grocery, carrying the things you’ve bought to your car will give you the body workout that you need.
Take the stairs
We always hear this advice but really, who does it? If you’re smart enough, you should start ditching the elevator and taking the stairs more often. You don’t have to climb all the way up especially if your office is on the top floor. Take the stairs up/down several floors then hitch a ride on the elevator. Climbing the stairs improves your stamina and muscular strength. It also circulates the blood. Not only that, you’re also doing the environment a favor reducing carbon emissions brought about by elevator operation.
Bike to work
If you live in an area that’s not so polluted and can support the notion, biking is a wonderful way to go to work. It’s not only your health that will benefit from this aerobic activity but so are your pockets and the environment. Gas money sets you back for who knows how many dollars in a year. Going to work on a bike gives you a lot more money to stash in your piggy bank. Mother Nature will also thank you for decreasing air pollution and carbon emissions.
Skip your stop
Commuting to work is the next best thing if you can’t walk or bike to your work. Using the bus or subway system gives you plenty of walking opportunities that will be good for your health. One trick to follow is to skip the stop and get off at one before or after so you can walk from there. You’ll get to know a little more of the neighborhood, get some fresh air and increase your heart rate.
Do some gardening
A lot of people enjoy working in their gardens. If you do it early in the morning, you get to bask in the wonderful warmth of the sun and acquire the vitamin D that your body needs. Not only that, gardening has also lots of physical activities that will get your heart rate up without inflicting too much pressure or stress on your muscles. Cultivate an organic vegetable garden so that your health would benefit from this activity even more.
Play with the kids
You always seem too busy that you hardly have time to play with your kids. Don’t be that kind of parent who regrets not spending enough time many years after. Bond with the kids by playing outdoor games and sports that would have everyone running around. Bring them to the park and throw some ball, play tag or hide and seek. If the weather isn’t good and you can’t go out, play music and dance inside the house. If there’s no choice but to play video games, go for the physical ones like Wii, XBox Kinect or PS3's Move.
See, there are plenty of ways to get moving without making it seem like it’s a chore. Follow these tips and notice a significant improvement not only your physical health but also on your emotional health since exercise is also effective in boosting the mood.