Lifestyle Changes: Do You Have 10 Minutes a Day?

Really – that is all you need to get a little well deserved exercise.  During that ten minutes you can walk – walk with purpose to get the heart pumping a little faster to circulate the blood, lubricate the joints and relieve a bit of stress (aka lower blood pressure).  We as humans are meant to move. Our jobs have become more sedentary- desk and computer jobs , but there are always opportunities to shake a leg.  Several studies, including the American Cancer Society, have found that sitting for more than six hours a day has the potential to shorten our life span. The Center for Disease Control reported that more people are walking in 2012 than in 2005,this is great news but only   48% of Americans meet the recommended two and half hours of moderate activity a week.  Most of the walkers are in walkable urban areas.  The downside to the sedentary lifestyle is a greater risk of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Walking requires a pair of comfortable shoes- but in a pinch wear what you have on.  With a little preparation you can be ready to stroll anytime.  Leave a pair of sneakers by your desk or in your car,  when an opportunity arises you are ready to stroll. Get outside as much as possible, the Vitamin D you get from the sun is an added bonus. Park your can further away, walk the stairs, get up 10- 15 minutes earlier, walk for a while before you eat your lunch. Give yourself a brain break and do a few laps around the office.  Before you buzz out on the couch sneak in 10-15minutes to walk the dog, or go around the block. I challenge you  to notice how you feel afterwards.  I would bet a bunch that you will have a lighter mood and feel energized.  You will be more productive and not as apt to reach for the sweets.  Reach for the water instead and you will be on your way to a healthier behavior.

There are some helpful apps and gadgets if you want to make it more interesting.  Try a simple pedometer and calculate your steps- your goal is 10,000 a day- that’s the optimum, start where you can.  There are more sophisticated devises that show you how many calories you have burned along with distance.  Smartphone has many apps such as Walkmeter and MapMyWalk, you can post your results if that is what you need for motivation. Truthfully – I would rather be walking than being in front of a computer posting results, again, whatever works to get and keep you going.

The way to get started is … literally with the first step.  As the saying goes, Just Do It, has a lot of meaning and motivation. My first career was a Physical Education and Health teacher and I never realized how lucky I was to have chosen that path until I retired from teaching. I love to move and it has never been an issue for me.  I am one of those wives’ whose husband literally has to kick out the door when I am in a ‘mood’ because he knows I haven’t gotten my walk in and there is too much pent up energy . I treat it the same as brushing my teeth- it is just a part of my day and routine. Make it part of yours- you will not regret it.

If you are having trouble balancing your exercise and lifestyle, take advantage of a complementary strategy session that is offered.  Taking the effort to improve your wellbeing will be well worth it!  Choose Health!

Be Well, Mary

 

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