Physical Activity Tips

With all the things that you have to do each day, finding the time and motivation to get moving can be challenging. Here are some suggestions for ways to get started:

  • If you do not have 30 minutes in one stretch to set aside for moderate physical activities, try being active in three 10-minute periods throughout the day.
  • Join a sports team. For example, you may work for a company that has a baseball team that you could join.
  • Join a hiking or running club.
  • Use stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Walk or bike to work or to the store.
  • Be physically active at lunch with co-workers, family, or friends.
  • Take a break at work to stretch or take a quick walk.
  • Go dancing with your partner or friends.
  • Plan active vacations rather than only driving trips.
  • Wear a pedometer (a small tool worn on your belt that counts the number of steps you take). Try to walk 10,000 steps each day.
  • While watching TV, use a stationary bicycle or treadmill. Another idea is to work out with hand weights.
  • Spend time in active play with your kids. While you're at it, you could also teach your kids about the health benefits of physical activity. Children and adolescents should be engaging in at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, and prefer-ably all, days of the week.l If you are having trouble finding the time or motivation to be physically active, figure out what is holding you back and then brainstorm with family and friends about ways to overcome these barriers.

Perhaps the most important tip, though, is to find physical activities that you enjoy. You are more likely to keep physically active if you are having fun.

SAFETY TIPS

While you are being physically active, be sure to keep safety in mind. We have already mentioned some safety tips, such as starting slow if you have not been physically active for a long time. Below are a few more safety tips:

  • Use safety equipment. For example, wear a helmet for bike riding or the right shoes for walking or jogging.
  • Drink plenty of fluids when you are physically active, even if you are not thirsty.
  • Always bend forward from the hips, not the waist. If you keep your back straight, you're probably bending the right way. If your back "humps," that's probably wrong.

Source: Adapted from The Healthy Woman: A Complete Guide for All Ages
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health - 2008

Reviewed by athealth on February 6, 2014.