Exercise does not have to be a difficult or burdensome part of your day! The notion that good health can come in small tidbits is not really new. Research has found that adding just 30 minutes of walking per day is enough to prevent weight gain and encourage moderate weight loss.
And if 30 minutes is still too big a bite…three brisk 10-minute walks per day are as effective as a daily 30 minute walk in decreasing risk factors for heart disease. Just the act of going from sedentary to moderately active gives you the greatest reduction in your risks. So, take time to be active even if it’s in small doses.
Here are a few more quick tips to promote lasting fitness:
1. Do a squat every time you pick something up. Instead of bending over in the usual way, which stresses the lower back, bend your knees and squat. This forces you to use your leg muscles and will build strength.
2. Whenever you're standing in a line, lift one foot a half-inch off the ground. The extra stress on your opposite foot, ankle, calf and thigh, plus your buttocks, will help firm and tone muscles. Just switch feet every few minutes. 3. Work out without going to the gym! If exercise sounds like a dirty word to you, here's some good news: You can boost your heart health by incorporating any physical activity into your day. Every kind of cardiovascular activity counts – gardening, dancing, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Even housework can qualify as exercise as long as you're doing serious cleaning that slightly elevates your heart rate.
So, remember, it’s never too late to begin exercising and, if you are already active, keep up the good work! We encourage you to talk to your doctor about the type and amount of exercise activity that is right for you and your health.