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Physical Activity on a Busy Schedule

By Ruchi Shah, MS, RD, CDN

Physical activity is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. It can have a great impact on your health, wellness, and even your stress level! Physical activity is recommended as part of your daily routine as well as being important at any age or stage in life.

Some of the benefits of physical activity include preventing chronic diseases, controlling weight, increasing muscle strength, reducing fat, promoting strong bones, relieving stress, improving sleep, and many more.1

If physical activity has so many benefits, why do most of us not add it to our daily routine? Sometimes life gets in the way and it is completely understandable. Work, children, household chores, and social events all take time away from physical activity.

Without physical activity, many problems can occur. Your blood pressure and cholesterol can increase. You are at risk for stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. 1

Physical activity is extremely important! If you’re busy, these tips can help you squeeze it into your daily routine.

  • For anyone with an hour of time to spare about 3 -4 times a week, join a gym. It’s a great place to find motivation and encouragement. Most gyms provide a free personal trainer session when you sign up, and you can learn some great tips.

For anyone with no time due to balancing work, children, household chores, and so much more, finding ways to exercise while doing any of these can really help.

  • If you sit at a desk all day, get up and walk around when you have a few minutes to spare. Stretch, walk in place, do some arm circles. Do something to get your body moving. Standing desks are a great option as well.
  • Take your children for a walk or bike ride around the neighborhood, or create a mini exercise class at home with them where you are the instructor and they are the students. Children love doing that! Also, play games outside with them like tag.
  • Get everyone in the house moving around together. This is a fun, family bonding experience.
  • When you are doing household chores such as cooking, cleaning, or organizing, put on some music and dance. It will help get you moving a little more and also elevate your mood.

Physical activity can be fun, and it is something families and friends are able to do together. It is essential to make physical activity an important part of your life!

References

  1. HHS Office, and Council on Sports. “Importance of Physical Activity.” HHS.gov, US Department of Health and Human Services, 26 Jan. 2017, www.hhs.gov/fitness/be-active/importance-of-physical-activity/index.html#.

Ruchi Shah is a Registered Dietician and Diabetes Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s Family Health and Wellness Program. She can be reached at rs2522@cornell.edu

 

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