Are You “Active”?

08.27.2014, 11:52 CDT | Posted In: Health & Beauty

Woman with active outdoor lifestyle

Taking good care of your skin is a great start to creating a healthy lifestyle, but there are other steps you must take to keep your body, mind, and spirit at optimal health.

Today, we challenge you to consider this question…Are you active?

If you would consider yourself an active person, great job! Keep it up! If you haven’t quite gotten to the point you’d like to in your physical activity routine, here are some easy guidelines to remember:

  1. 30 Minutes a Day is All You Need
    We have 24 hours in a day. Sure, 7-8 hours of that time should be spent asleep, but that still leaves about 16 hours. Five days a week, you should plan to spend 30 minutes of your day doing physical activity, especially cardio.1 Thirty minutes is about 3% of your waking hours…easy to make the time when you look at it that way!
  2. Work Those Muscles
    Twice a week, spend some additional time on strength training. What exactly is that, you may ask? According to Health.gov, “Muscle-strengthening activities count if they involve a moderate to high level of intensity or effort and work the major muscle groups of the body: the legs, hips, back, chest, abdomen, shoulders, and arms.”1 Start at your own pace – there is no recommended time requirement for strength work; simply get started and work until your muscles feel tired. Then, work your way up as you spend more time, use more weight, and do more repetitions in your training!
  3. Get Off the Couch (Or Out of that Chair)
    Interestingly, spending too much time sitting is not the same thing as getting too little exercise.2 In addition to your cardio and strength training, try not to sit in front of the TV or computer for long periods of time, as this sedentary behavior can have effects on your metabolism and cardiovascular system.2 The solution? Take more breaks! Get up and do some jumping jacks during commercials, or if you’re working in front of a computer screen most of the day, take a quick walk around the office, your house, or outside at the top of every hour.

The most important thing in getting active is simple…just get started! Begin with something that’s easy for you and that you enjoy, whether it’s walking your dog around the block, dancing, taking an aerobics class, swimming, etc. Whatever you can do to add more activity into your life will benefit you, and you’ll probably start to crave those active times during your day!
 

So, tell us in the comments below—how do YOU stay active?

 

 

References:1. 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Health.gov website. http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/pdf/paguide.pdf. Accessed July 31, 2014.
2. Owen, N., Healy, G.N., Matthews, C.E., & Dunstan, D.W. Too much sitting: The population-health science of sedentary behavior. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2010; 38(3): 105-113

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