Sometimes we are not getting enough movement in our daily lives. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to take a lot of time or effort to incorporate exercise into your schedule.
If all you can manage is a five-minute walk, do it. Five minutes are better than none. Eventually, you will be able to work your way up to 30 minutes or more, and you will be taking a big step toward maintaining the flexibility and mobility of your joints.
For those in a time crunch, consider taking small breaks from work. Simply getting up from your desk and walking around the office or the parking lot, or going up and down the stairs a few times, is enough to get your blood flowing and to trigger feel-good endorphins to get you through the rest of your day. You can also think about incorporating exercise into the activities that you enjoy, such as shopping. Next time you take a trip to the mall, walk around the entire perimeter before going into a store.
If you already have a workout routine that you enjoy, think about how you can tweak that plan to get the greatest health benefit. It is important to vary your routine at least every few weeks to avoid plateaus and see maximum results.
Variety can be as simple as changing the machines on your weight-lifting circuit or switching from a treadmill to an elliptical.
If you are looking for new exercise options, here are some ways to change up your workout routine:
Yoga – With a variety of styles and poses, yoga can fit into many different lifestyles and address a variety of health and fitness needs. The physical benefits of yoga, such as increased flexibility, strength, endurance and balance make it an excellent option for athletes to complement the often repetitive motions of training. The same benefits are valuable to less active people looking for a way to add more movement to their days.
Swimming – Swimming for a few laps is a great workout option because it provides cardio and resistance training without any added stress on your joints. You can also “run” in the water for even more variation.
Weight training – You can use free weights or grab those soup cans from the cupboard and fill an old gallon milk jug with water to create your own. Start small—with light weights and only a few repetitions—and work your way up to more sets with heavier weights.
Bike ride – Biking is good for your body because it provides a great cardio workout without putting extra stress on your joints. You can hit the trails for an outdoor ride or try a spin class at your local gym for a more structured workout.
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