Remember the “Keep on Truckin'” comic of the late 60’s and 70’s? Turns out that was good advice as movement can help keep our weight down, support heart health and brain health, strengthen bones, ward off signs of aging and stress, and build muscle. That’s a lot of reasons to keep moving. You might think this involves exercise and you’d be right, but there are a lot of ways to maximize your workout time and to turn movement you normally perform in your everyday life into exercise. Here are some tips to help if your healthcare provider agrees that these types of movement are safe for you.
- Walking is a great form of exercise that can be done anywhere with no special equipment. It can easily be worked into your regular day by looking for opportunities to walk instead of riding. Bob Greene, a fitness trainer, recommends gearing your walking towards the amount of time you walk instead of setting a distance goal and to maintain a posture of keeping chin up, shoulders held back and swinging the arms at a 90 degree angle to get the most out of your walks. He also stresses that doing stretches before and after is important.
- According to Dr. Oz, research shows those who do regular walking will lose weight and keep it off more than those who don’t walk for exercise. He advises alternating moderate walking for two minutes and fast walking for one minute and to walk up inclines to burn off more calories.
- Studies also show that walking confidently with long strides and swinging arms for three minutes boosts your happiness ratio.
- Aerobic exercise, according to John Ratey, MD, author of Spark, an exercise science book, gives you a longer time before the fight or flight response kicks in. Exercise combined with muscle relaxation increases serotonin and dopamine and other neurotransmitters that help deal with stress and give your mood a lift.
- Work some workout time into your daily errand schedule. Park further away from the store to increase your walking time and Petra Kolber, Reebok master trainer, suggests using your shopping bags like weights and do biceps curls with them. You can also practice some simple balance exercises while standing in lines like the tai-chi horse stance suggested by Scott Cole and walk up stairs on tiptoes as suggested by Ellen Barrett, a trainer from Los Angeles.
- Fabio Comana, MA, MS, of the American Council on Exercise recommends using balance type exercise to strengthen the body, improve balance, and get more out of a workout. This includes exercises such as a one-legged balance, leg swings while standing on one leg, and doing a one-legged squat. You can see this complete program at http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/ss/slideshow-off-balance-core-moves?ecd=wnl_wlw_092914&ctr=wnl-wlw-092914_nsl-ld-stry&mb=Xenvmz6dAtHtkRjp7Is6CeHnVev1imbCfXusP2Lh3sM%3d.
- Research shows that it’s never too late to get started with an exercise program and get the same benefits as if you had started earlier in life. David Matelot, of the French Institute of Health and Medical Research authored a study reporting that men starting endurance exercise programs after 40 showed as much benefit for heart health as those that started before they were 30. This study did also report that there were benefits in other areas that were increased by starting earlier though, so don’t put your exercise off.
- Other research shows that movement can help reduce the muscle loss and mental decline that we often associate with aging. Another good reason to keep moving and get started working exercise into your regular routine.
- To keep moving and be healthy enough for exercise, good nutrition is necessary. Whole food supplements can also be used to fill in nutritional gaps and support the body to make movement easier. This supplement has ingredients known to feed the cells and help them fight off stress of cellular oxidation and inflammation caused by exercise. An antioxidant with AFA bluegreen algae supplement can also help provide nutrition found to help keep the body in shape to stay active by providing nutrition for stem cells to reproduce and protect our natural adult stem cells from free radicals. This supplement gives you glucosamine, chondroitin, undenatured collagen and AFA bluegreen algae for a combination of nutrients reported to support joint and cartilage health which are key to movement.
If you weren’t already aware of how important it is for you to keep moving and get the most out of the exercise time you can work in, then hopefully you see it now. Try out some of these tips for yourself and see how much you can increase your movement time to keep moving and stay fit.
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