Adding Physical Activity to Your Life
Putting more daily exercise in your life doesn’t have to be hard or long. There are easy, simple steps you can take to add movement to your life. Make it something that’s fun for you and that you can do regularly.
Make sure to do at least 10 minutes of activity at a time; shorter bursts of activity will not have the same health benefits. Remember that every little bit adds up and doing something is better than doing nothing. For example, walking the dog for 10 minutes before and after work or adding a 10-minute walk at lunchtime can add to your weekly goal.
Ready to get started? Here are some tips:
Tips to get you moving at home
- Join a walking group in the neighborhood or at the local shopping mall. Recruit a partner for support and encouragement.
- Push the baby in a stroller.
- Get out and walk your dog
- Clean the house or wash the car.
- Drive less – walk, skate, or cycle more, and drive less.
- Do stretches, exercises, or pedal a stationary bike while watching television.
- Mow the lawn with a push mower.
- Plant and care for a vegetable or flower garden.
- Play with the kids — tumble in the leaves, build a snowman, splash in a puddle, or dance to favorite music.
- Exercise to a workout video.
- Walk up and down courts or fields or around the neighborhood when kids are practicing sports.
- Do stretches or exercises while watching television.
- Actively play with kids after school or in the evening.
- Get up 15 minutes early and use this time for a run, walk, sit-ups and push-ups, or stretching.
- Turn chores into exercise. Set the timer for 20 minutes and see how much of the house you can clean. Try to be as efficient and quick-paced as possible.
- Walk the dog for 10 minutes before or after work.
Tips to get you moving at work
- Ride your bike or walk to work.
- Get off the bus or subway one stop early and walk or skate the rest of the way.
- Park your car farther away from the entrance.
- Add a 10-minute walk at lunchtime or as a replacement for a coffee break. Ask a friend to go with you.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Take part in an exercise program at work or a nearby gym.
- Join the office softball team or walking group.
- To be ready anytime, keep some comfortable clothes and a pair of walking or running shoes in the car and at the office.
Tips to get moving as a family
- Take a walk or hike together, shoot hoops, or play catch, Frisbee, or other active games.
- Enjoy an afternoon bike ride as a family.
- Walk or bike to school together.
- Try physical participation video games.
- Play together at a playground.
- Set up an obstacle course.
- Take a nature walk.
- Play with a deck of cards. Decide on an exercise for each suit (hearts, diamonds, spades, clubs) and take turns picking cards and performing the exercise the number of times indicated on the card. (For example, if jumping jacks were assigned to spades, a 10 of spades would mean 10 jumping jacks.) Do the exercises together or tag team.
- Put on some music and have a dance party!