Did you know that about 75 percent of American adults do not get enough regular physical activity? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), even though physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health, most people don’t do it enough, and many don’t do it at all.
Regular activity can improve your health and lower your risk of getting many chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer. Staying physically active is one of the best things you can do for your mind and body. Even becoming a little more active can help your health a lot. If you don’t usually exercise much, or if you spend most of your day seated, beginning to move more can make a big difference in your health.
- Don’t worry — getting started isn’t as hard as you may think. Strenuous exercise is not required for health improvement. It is recommended that adults get about 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity at least five days a week, and children should get at least 60 minutes every day.
- Once you are used to walking and moving more, you can gradually increase your exercise so you can benefit further. That may mean that you would eventually exercise longer (duration), more often (frequency), or that you could choose a more strenuous exercise (for more intensity).
Dedicating a specific amount of time to exercise can be challenging, but with a little planning you can fit more activity into each day. Here are some ideas to help increase the amount of activity you get:
- Track it on a calendar
- Use a pedometer, fitness tracker or smartphone app to track your daily activity
- Post reminders or schedule exercise as part of your day and week, so you remember to move
- Try parking farther away from your destination and walk briskly from your car to the entrance
- Tired of sitting in meetings all day? Engage a colleague in a “walking meeting” to get your blood and ideas flowing. You will be amazed at the ideas and distance you can cover in 30 minutes!
- Make a commitment! Schedule time with a friend to make physical activity more fun and rewarding for both of you
- Need a break? Try taking a 15 minute walk during your work day to clear your head and meet part of your physical activity goal for the day
- Make it a family affair! Instead of watching TV or going out to eat, walk or bike ride with your children
Whether you are new to exercise or are looking for a fresh start or increased challenge, St. Luke’s is here to help! We have multiple Fitness Centers and Sports and Human Performance Center locations throughout the Lehigh Valley and beyond. No matter your current level of fitness and even if you have restrictions or health conditions, our staff can design a plan to help to help you achieve your goals. For more information, click here.
If you enjoy exercising outside and spending time in nature, consider Get Your Tail on Trail, a program that offers prizes for getting out and getting active. St. Luke’s University Health Network and Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (D&L) are partnering to bring the community this family fun initiative. For more information, FAQs and to register, click here.