Robbinsville, NJ —Tired of hearing you need to move more and eat less? Wondering how you’re going to fit in physical activity along with work, school, family, sports and a social life? When you ask ‘why do I have to exercise?”’ know that the answer is simple: Life is Why.
The effects of physical inactivity are staggering—nearly 7 in 10 adults and 1 in 3 children and teens are overweight or obese. Obesity not only has physical effects on Americans, including increasing risk for heart disease and stroke--the No. 1 and No. 4 killers in the U.S., but also costs American companies nearly $226 billion in health-related productivity costs.
The good news is Americans can choose an active lifestyle and improve physical and mental health with just a half hour a day. An active lifestyle has proven health benefits, including improving blood circulation, managing stress, preventing bone loss, boosting energy levels, releasing tension and countering anxiety and depression.
The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association recommend at least 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week for adults and at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day for children and teens. Physical activity is anything that gets your body moving and burns calories. Break up the time into smaller increments that fit into your daily routine and you can be well on your way to a heart-healthy lifestyle.
“The idea is that physical activity doesn’t have to feel like exercise,” states Scott Evans, American Heart Association volunteer and program manager of the health and wellness department at Johnson & Johnson Information Technology in Raritan, NJ. “Teaching yourself and your family to include small bursts of activity into your daily routine will make it more likely to stick.”
Here are some easy tips for getting in your daily physical activity:
- Take the stairs
- Park at the far end of the parking lot and walk to the building
- Walk during your lunch or afternoon break
- If you live close to the office, bike there twice a week
- Skip dessert and take a walk as a family
- Play hide-and-seek with the kids
- Set your alarm 15 minutes early and walk the dog before work
- Schedule active meetings- brainstorm while walking around the building
- Turn on some music and have a dance party with the kids
“Remember, healthy habits start at home,” continues Evans. “Incorporating more steps into your daily routine may lead to a heart-healthy life.”
For more tips on making physical activity part of your daily routine, visit www.heart.org/PhysicalActivity.