Submitted By: Tenley Burlingame
Edited by: Marcia Bristow MS RDN CD
The world of fitness and exercise can be confusing and downright intimidating. When all else fails remember this: get up and move. There is a lot of information about the impact of exercise on metabolism and the power of muscle, so let’s break it down.
Throughout history, the benefits of physical activity and strength have been widely recognized. Research has shown that “physical inactivity is a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease and a widening variety of other chronic diseases, including diabetes mellitus, cancer (colon and breast), obesity, hypertension, bone and joint diseases, and depression.” Simply put, increased physical activity levels reduce the risk of premature death. As an added benefit, physical activity improves mood and helps you to forget a previously negative mood. That’s a win-win! But how much is enough to reap the benefits?
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends two hours and thirty minutes of physical activity per week, which breaks down to about 20 minutes a day. Set short-term realistic goals, such as adding a 2-3 minute walk mid-morning. No amount of time is insignificant, as small increments will quickly add up. The image below provides ideas for when and how to get in your daily activity. Standing during your lunch break, playing with your kids, gardening, and walking the dog are all easy ways to increase your physical activity level.
Setting aside a few minutes a day to get up and move helps to increase your physical activity level and improve mood. Set a goal for yourself, and start moving more today!