Did you know that May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month? That means that there’s no better time to begin a workout routine or try a new healthy activity. When you’re active, you burn the calories you’ve consumed during the day helping you achieve and maintain a healthy weight. It isn’t necessary to train like an athlete to optimally balance your food intake and exercise. You can do activities that burn lots of calories, but you can also make simple changes such as parking farther away from your destination and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Here are four tips to help you and your family squeeze more movement into your day.
Break it up
When you really can’t carve a 30- or 45-minute block of time out of a busy day, aim for smaller chunks of time instead. For example, you might have time for three ten-minute walks, which have the same healthful effects as one 30-minute walk. Or perhaps you can fit in 10 minutes of yoga before work and 20 minutes of strength training and stretching after dinner. Or, do some of your walking on your lunch break and then do a few sets of crunches, sit-ups, and jumping jacks at night while you’re watching TV. There are endless ways to fit exercise into your day; the key is to find the right schedule for you.
Make exercise part of your commute
If you’re lucky enough to live nearby your workplace, take advantage of the ability to walk or bike there each morning. Springtime is the perfect time to enjoy a little extra time outdoors. Or, if you drive or take public transportation, consider parking a few blocks away or getting off the train or bus a few blocks early and fitting in those extra steps before and after work. It’s also a great way to relieve stress and clear your head.
Enlist a partner
It’s much easier to get motivated and make exercise fun when you do it with a friend. Find a buddy who also wants to get in shape and make plans to walk or jog or catch a yoga class together. If you have kids, bring them along on an after-dinner walk or bike ride, or join a local gym together and make staying fit a family affair. You can even remain active with younger kids by teaching them games such as jump rope and hopscotch.
Revive the workout video
How long has it been since you worked out along with a video? Today’s workout videos are better than ever, often combining strength, cardio, and stretching in one convenient workout. Best of all? Many of them are free. Search YouTube, and you’ll find tons of different exercise videos for people of all fitness levels and preferences. Save your favorites and do one each morning before work, at night to help you de-stress, or in the afternoon while the baby naps – anytime is the right time, as long as you do it.
Celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month this year by making movement a more significant part of your life.