Getting healthy and fit is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, data shows that less than ten percent of people actually keep their New Year’s resolutions. Now that March is here, how are you doing with any resolutions you made? If you decided to be more active, how can you keep yourself in gear and stick to your resolution? Part of the answer may be found in changing the way you think about exercise and instead focusing on making physical activity a part of our lifestyle.
We know that being physically active can improve health, not only for today, but also for the future. Even with that knowledge, most people do not get enough physical activity. Physical activity simply means movement of the body that uses energy. Walking, gardening, climbing stairs, or dancing are all examples of being active.
To get the most health benefits, physical activity should include both aerobic activity and muscle strengthening each week. Aim for at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and include muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days a week. Muscle strengthening activities include things like push-ups, sit-ups, and lifting weights. You can break the time up into smaller increments throughout the day and still get benefits; just make sure that each activity is done for at least 10 minutes at a time.
If you haven’t been active in a while, start slowly and build up. Find an activity that you enjoy and can easily incorporate into your routine. Recruiting a partner to be active with you may help you stay motivated and provide support and encouragement. Get the whole family involved in being active as a great way to spend quality time together.
If you haven’t stuck to your resolutions, it’s not too late to get back on track to being active and being healthy. For more tips and weekly exercise videos you can do at home, join the LSU AgCenter’s “Working on Wellness Together” Facebook Group
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture