Exercise has a negative connotation so let’s think positive and call it activity, which is so much more pleasant. Incorporating even small amounts of activity into your life can have big rewards for your overall well-being. It is recommended that the average adult incorporates 30 minutes of activity at least 5 days every week, but the activity doesn’t have to be all at the same time. Doing five minutes of activity (like taking the stairs or the furthest parking spot) six times a day is as effective as setting aside a 30 minute block of time for activity. Let’s review some of the many benefits of activity.
- Activity is typically fun. When was the last time that you did something fun habitually for yourself daily? Not just on a weekend or when you have time, but daily setting aside time for what you want to do. It was most likely when you were a kid. By taking time daily to do an activity you like you are putting your fun first, even if it is for just 10-15 minutes.
- Activity helps improve your sleep. Many people don’t get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per night on working days and 8-9 hours of sleep on non-working days. Doing daily activity helps you sleep better so at least for the time you are setting aside to sleep it will be more restful sleep.
- Activity boosts energy. A lot of people complain that their energy level is low so they reach for sugary snacks or highly caffeinated drinks. These provide a short-term energy boost with a huge slump. By participating in daily activity you can experience an energy boost that is long lasting without reaching for the sugary snacks or caffeine-filled drinks.
- Regular activity improves overall mood. Who doesn’t love an emotional pick-me-up? Activity, strategically placed during work hours, can improve your mood. Try climbing the stairs or going for a brisk walk outside. When you return to your work you will be fresh and ready for the next task.
- Weight control is difficult. Activity can help to control weight. As I have said so many times in other blogs, it is difficult to try and only use activity as a means to lose weight, but controlling weight is one of the greatest advantages of regular activity.
- Activity is a great way in which to combat health conditions and diseases. Activity can have a positive effect against heart disease, blood pressure problems, cholesterol issues and diabetes (sugar) issues. In addition, by keeping activity one can help to minimize arthritis and help prevent falls which happen more frequently to older people.
Exercise is a bad word to some people. Think more positive and find the activity or activities that you enjoy. Activity may be walking, jogging, running, golfing, dancing, biking, kayaking, stair stepping, yoga, Zumba, lifting weights or other strength training, cleaning house, washing your car or anything else that you enjoy and gets you moving. Try it; you’ll enjoy the benefits!
By: Molly McBrayer, Clinical Manager, Roper St. Francis Bariatric and Metabolic Services