For your 2014, resolve to be more physically active during your day.
The vast majority of us get much less physical activity than is recommended for good health. While a common New Year’s resolution is to get started with an exercise program, for many the thought of starting an exercise program is too daunting.
Being physically active is critical to good health. Results from studies demonstrate:
- The fittest people are the least likely to get any number of chronic diseases including obesity, heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
- The greatest relative decrease in the risk of developing these chronic diseases occurs when you compare those that get no physical activity to those who get just a little. In other words, going from completely out of shape to a little bit fitter is enormously beneficial.
- That sitting less, regardless of how much exercise we do, is important to our overall health.
The evidence is clear; you do not need to be a finely trained athlete to get many of the health benefits that come from being more physically active. Avoiding being a “couch potato” is good for your health.
So, for 2014, resolve to become more physically active by:
- Decrease screen time (TV and computers). Limit personal screen time to 1-2 hours..
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator. It’s a free workout! It increases muscle strength and power as well as aerobic capacity. Plus, it burns calories.
- Take a 5 to 10 minute walk before, during and after work. . Consider wearing a pedometer or other activity monitor like a FitBit to track your daily step count.
- Walk to a co-worker’s office and talk instead of sending an e-mail.
A little physical activity will go a long ways towards improving your overall health and well-being.
Patrick Savage, MS, is a Senior Exercise Physiologist in Cardiac Rehabilitation at the University of Vermont Medical Center.