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You may think you don’t have time to get more physical activity. But you build it into your life in lots of ways, all day long! A brisk walk from your parked car to the mall entrance counts. Taking your dog for a quick jog after dinner is great. These are known as moderately intense activities, and they’re good for your health.
Moderately intense activities increase your heart rate, but still let you carry on a conversation. These kinds of activities can help you achieve and keep a healthy weight and improve your fitness. They will help lower your risk for heart and bone diseases, put you in a better mood, and improve your balance, coordination, and agility.
Every day, you have many opportunities to be more active. Below are some ideas to get you started. Be sure to talk with your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
Walk around when you're talking on the phone instead of staying put. Getting out of your chair throughout the day can help improve your circulation.
Go talk to someone instead of sending an email. Need to send papers to a colleague? Drop them off yourself. Consider these excursions exercise breaks.
Go window shopping or browsing in your spare time. Shopping is the ultimate easy walking workout. Wear athletic socks and walking shoes.
Parking a good distance from the entrance when you go to the grocery store or to work will help you get extra walking.
Vigorous cleaning can help you burn about 420 calories an hour. All of these apply: cleaning floors, vacuuming carpets, washing windows, and scrubbing tile.
Do your own yard work and gardening. Hoeing burns about 360 calories an hour, the same as playing badminton. Cutting your lawn with a push mower burns about 420 calories an hour, on par with playing tennis. Trimming trees burns about 500 calories an hour, the same as swimming the crawl.
Turn lunchtime into an exercise adventure. Don't eat at the company cafeteria or the same old place. Instead, discover new restaurants within walking distance from your workplace.
Carry a basket instead of pushing a cart if you're getting just a few things at the supermarket. Consider it a free weight that keeps getting heavier. But switch the basket from hand to hand periodically to balance the effect on your upper-arm and shoulder muscles.
Park your car in the garage and leave it there if you're going anywhere less than a mile away.
Taking the hilliest route possible when you're walking will burn extra calories.
Sign up for a corporate fitness challenge. Whether you walk or run, you'll have fun and feel a sense of accomplishment that can spur you to stay in shape long after the race is over.
Limit sedentary activities during your leisure time. For example, turn off the television several nights a week. Without TV programs to distract you, you'll move around more than you would otherwise.
Whether you take salsa lessons or ballroom dance classes, dancing gives you a great workout while you have fun. Dancing can burn as many calories as walking, swimming, or riding a bike. Start with slower dances, like an easy waltz, and work your way up to the mambo or country dancing.
Make exercise social by playing golf, basketball, tennis, and other games with others.
Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a great way to burn calories. Depending on your weight, each flight of stairs you climb burns about 10 calories.
Being physically active is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health. So invest in yourself and start moving today!
Bayhealth is Southern Delaware’s healthcare leader with hospitals in Dover and in Milford. Bayhealth provides a wide range of medical services, including cardiovascular, cancer, orthopaedics and rehabilitation, pediatrics, respiratory care, sleep care, surgical weight loss and women’s services.