If there was a secret to better health, easier weight control, more energy, more restful sleep, and better mood would you want to know it? What if you could also have relief from stress, have stronger muscles and bones, and reduce heartburn, anxiety, constipation, and depression, while also help prevent diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and cancer? It would peak your curiosity right? What wonder drug can do all of this?
It’s called exercise. Open 24 hours a day, available to every age, across all countries and just a few minutes a day and you are on the road to better health. All you need is a pair of running shoes.
Physical activity is not just for the marathon runners or the extreme health nuts; exercise is for everyone. The human body was made to move, but our modern sedentary habits have taken over and created an inactive lifestyle common for too many adults. Hours spent sitting in traffic, full-time jobs in front of computer screens, kids growing up on couches resulting an unhealthy, stressed out, sleep deprived, lethargic, anxious population.
5 Steps to Better Health
1. Put on Running Shoes
2. Walk to work, school, grocery store, with the dog, in the forest, or around the neighbourhood
3. Climb the stairs . . . everywhere!
4. Lunge, squat and sit-up 10-20 times each
5. Stretch and breathe, with a yoga DVD or on your own.
Repeat as many times a week as you can.Taking just 20-30 minutes out a day for a brisk walk, a full stretch, to climb stairs, or ride a bike with your kids can make all the difference. You can even break it up into two 15 minute sessions of activity, if it’s easier to fit in fitness that way, and still reap the benefits of a more active lifestyle.
Stay physically active
Staying physically active doesn’t have to be difficult, you don’t need a gym or a personal trainer. You just need to move. Everyday. Get your heart pumping, your blood flowing and your energy soaring. A little goes a long way to improving your health.
Physical activity everyday does more than just build muscle, improve your cardiovascular fitness and help you lose weight; it affects your stress level, your ability to get a good nights sleep, your energy level, your anxiety, digestion, circulation, bone density, immune system, mood and can prevent some serious diseases.
You may feel healthy now, being young, being busy and looking after everyone else, but years of inactivity will catch up with you and can threaten your long-term health.
The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care warns “Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among Canadian men and women. One-quarter of CVD deaths are the direct result of inactivity. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.”
Find activities you like
Find activities you enjoy so you will stay motivated and work them into your daily life. Start a neighbourhood walking group, rent a yoga DVD from the library, take the stairs at work, park or get off the bus 10 minutes from your office, challenge the kids to front rolls in the park or a bike ride around the block.
Make staying physically active part of your family lifestyle and enjoy all of the health benefits that go along with it for years to come.