We are only a few days before the start of a new decade… 2020, and as we begin a new year once again many of us will likely do what we do each year, attempt a rebooting, a refresh, a new start. We’ll take advantage of another opportunity in improving our personal health and fitness.
Being physically active is important for your health, especially for adults. Adults who are physically active are less likely to develop certain chronic diseases than adults who are inactive, and there are some fairly simple ways to get started.
Physical activity is any form of exercise or movement of the body that uses energy. People of all ages, shapes, sizes, and abilities can benefit from a physically active lifestyle. Here are 10 tips that should help you improve your physical fitness, and have fun:
1. Start activities slowly and build up over time If you are just starting physical activity, build up slowly. This will help to prevent injury. After a few weeks, increase how often and how long you are active.
2. Get your heart pumping For health benefits, do at least 2½ hours each week of physical activity that requires moderate effort. A few examples include brisk walking, biking, swimming, and skating. Spread activities over the week, but do them at least 10 minutes at a time.
3. Strength-train for healthy muscles and bones Do strengthening activities twice a week. Activities that build strength include lifting weights, doing push-ups and sit-ups, working with resistance bands, or heavy gardening.
4. Make active choices throughout the day Every little bit of activity can add up and doing something is better than nothing. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for a 10-minute walk on your lunch break, or park further away from work and walk.
5. Be active your way Mix it up — there are endless ways to be active. They include walking, biking, dancing, martial arts, gardening, and playing ball. Try out different activities to see what you like best and to add variety.
6. Use the buddy system Activities with friends or family are more enjoyable than doing them alone. Join a walking group, attend fitness classes at a gym, or play with the kids outside. Build a support network — your buddies will encourage you to keep being active.
7. Set goals and track your progress Plan your physical activity ahead of time and keep records. It’s a great way to meet your goals.
8. Add on to your active time Once you get used to regular physical activity, try to increase your weekly active time. The more time you spend being physically active, the more health benefits you will receive.
9. Increase your effort Add more intense activities once you have been moderately active for a while. You can do this by turning a brisk walk into a jog, swimming or biking faster, playing soccer, and participating in aerobic dance.
10. Have fun! Physical activity shouldn’t be a chore. It can help you feel better about yourself and the way you live your life. Choose activities that you enjoy and that fit your lifestyle.
You can make a positive difference in your own health in 2020!