By Deb Lowther @kidsgummymum
Spring arrived 3 weeks ago according to the calendar but today was the first day the temps went above 10 degree’s in what seems like months and friends in Calgary are still getting new snow! Regardless of Mother Natures funny sense of humour, it is April and time to put a ‘Spring’ in your step and add energy to your day. The best way to do that is with a little physical activity!
Getting active, preferably outside, is beneficial to more than just your heart and your waistline. A little physical activity everyday builds muscle and improves cardiovascular fitness while it helps you lose weight; it positively affects your stress level, your ability to get a good nights sleep, your energy level, your anxiety, digestion, circulation, bone density, immune system, mood and can prevent some serious diseases.
Mustering up the energy to be active actually gives you MORE energy but many say they just don’t have time to fit it in. No one actually has time laying around that they spontaneously decide they will spend working up a sweat, everyone out jogging, at the gym or a yoga class MADE commitment to their health and the time to fit it in. They know the benefits and understand that years of inactivity can catch up with you and threaten their long term health.
The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care warns “Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among Canadian men and women. One-quarter of CVD deaths are the direct result of inactivity. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.”
Taking just 20-30 minutes out a day for a brisk walk, a full stretch, to climb stairs, or ride a bike with your kids can make all the difference. You can even break it up into two 15 minute sessions of activity and still reap the benefits of a more active lifestyle.
Plus studies show that we concentrate better if we step away from the computer screen, TV or mobile device for at least 30 minutes a day to get some fresh air and get active.
5 Tips to Get Moving!
Outside: Take it outside. Fresh air is vital to our lungs, brain and heart. Get outside everyday for at least 30 minutes to get active. Go early morning or step away from the computer mid day for a brisk walk. It will get your heart pumping, flush out the stale indoor air and energize you for the rest of the day.
Running Shoes: Put them on, every day. Make a plan to work out. Use a skipping rope, walk, jog or invite a friend to nearby trails or park if that will help motivate you. 30 minutes in your running shoes and a commitment to get active while wearing them will help you build a healthier body.
Stairs: Are everywhere! At home, at the office, the doctors, a hotel, even outside. Find stairs and start climbing. Stairs are so good for your cardio, 20 minutes and I promise you will break a sweat!
Yoga Mat: Invest in one. For less than $20.00, you can store it anywhere and every day lay it out and do some stretches, sit ups, and even try a few push-ups. Work your upper body then do some squats and leg lifts for lower body. Sign up for some yoga classes and find out what it feels like to breath, to stretch and to feel your muscles working.
DVD: Steal the DVD player from the kids and pop in a video for a boot camp class, free weights, ball exercises, yoga, or all over toning. You can do this in the comfort of your own home and anytime of the day! No excuses!!
Fitting in a workout between work, kids, activities and emails is not always easy, but making it a priority can boost your energy level and fitness level in ways your health will benefit from for years to come.
Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails! She blogs on dozens of websites about Raising Healthy Kids and ensures her own have fun while eating healthy & staying active. To read more articles and see her favorite recipes starring squash and spinach that she promises even your kids will love, visit her websites www.iron-kids.com & www.adultgummies.com or visit her on Twitter @KidsGummyMum or Facebook at IronKids.Health and Adult Essentials.
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