Take heart. February is American Heart Month and a good time to take stock of your activity, or, for some of us, the lack thereof.
Many people have good intentions to move more, but then the day unfolds with little else other than chair time. You get to work and have that sit-down meeting, a nice co-worker brings in doughnuts (“What the heck?” that voice in your head reasons, and the heavy treat makes you sluggish), and the day is filled with several work fires to put out. You vow to move more tomorrow, but as they say, tomorrow never comes.
Instead of waiting for another day, find easy ways to increase movement today. The American Heart Association offers seven easy ways to boost your activity level with no gym membership required (although a gym is also a good way to get moving).
- Grab the leash and walk your dog. Both you and your four-legged friend will be healthier for it.
- Take your kid (or spouse or friend) for a walk. It is a great way to get face time without screens.
- Try a 10-minute home workout. Exercising in shorter increments can improve your health because the time spent moving adds up. People usually have an extra 10 minutes here or there throughout the day but may not find a solid 30 minutes or an hour to exercise.
- Walk and talk. Or walk and work. Walk while you are on the phone or use a walking desk at work. If it is nice outside, have a walking meeting.
- Tune into fitness. Walk or jog in place, lift weights, or do yoga while you binge watch your favorite episodes.
- Ditch the car. Park farther away from the building to get in extra steps. Bike or walk to your destination.
- Take the stairs, even if just for a floor or two. The elevator may go up, but your heart rate will not as you press the floor number and listen to the nondescript, piped-in music.
Stop putting off until tomorrow what you can do today. Look for opportunities to move more. Your heart will thank you, and every step counts!