The first strategy for living a CalmHealthySexy life this year is to move your body every day. You can call it exercise or physical activity or “sweatin’ to the oldies” – it really doesn’t matter, just so you get moving! The question isn’t should you do it, but what should you do and how can you make it a priority?
- Move your body for at least 30 minutes on 5 or more days of each week.* Do something that increases your heart rate moderately and works up a bit of a sweat. Do something you enjoy – walk, bike, play outside with the kids, do Zumba, take an exercise class, work out to a video – whatever works for you.
- Spend less time sitting. Move as much as possible throughout the day. If you have a sedentary job (like I do) get up and move often. When you’re at home, do as many tasks as possible while standing or walking. Limit the time you spend watching TV and other sedentary activities.
- Strengthen your muscles. At least 2 days per week, do exercises that build muscle strength. This is my least favorite kind of exercise, so I struggle to do it consistently. You can do it at a gym, or as part of a fitness class or workout, or at home with little or no equipment. If you don’t know how to get started, find a program or video online from a reputable source, like Prevention or Women’s Health.
- Stretch your muscles several days per week. The expert advice on stretching is somewhat mixed, but many experts advise stretching as a way to warm up before aerobic exercise. Do a bit of research to find stretching exercises that work for you. Or start with this Stretching 101 Guide from Prevention.
- Break it up. If you can’t exercise for 30 minutes at a time, break it into 2 15-minute or 3 10-minute segments.
- Fit it into your daily activities. Find ways to work exercise into your day. If you’re sitting, get in the mindset of thinking, “Could I be moving instead?” Walk while your children are at sports practices or lessons. Walk during your lunch hour. Do strength training or flexibility exercises while watching television. Wear a pedometer and accumulate steps throughout the day (work up to 10,000 per day). When shopping, park in a central location and walk to several stores.
- Do it together. Walk with your husband after dinner. Ride bikes or play outside with your children. Enlist co-workers to walk or workout with you before, during or after work. If you’re at home with young children, find other moms and walk or workout together.
- Find creative ways to be active. Find strategies for incorporating exercise into a busy schedule, such as 25 Easy Ways to Fit in 10 Minutes of Exercise or The 25-Minute Office Workout.
In order to stay calm, be healthy, and feel sexy, we need to move our bodies every day. So if your goal is to have a CalmHealthySexy 2013, start moving today and keep it going throughout the year!
How have you incorporated exercise or physical activity into your life? I would love for you to share your ideas in the Comments. I also would love for you to subscribe to Calm.Healthy.Sexy. by email. Enter your email address in the sidebar (under Subscribe to Blog Via Email). Or follow on Twitter (@CalmHealthySexy), Facebook, or Pinterest.
*More detailed physical activity recommendations are available from the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.