Joining a gym or health club can be a great tool to becoming more active, but is it working for you? Many people join and do well for several weeks or months, but then get busy, or bored, and stop going as frequently. Suddenly, you are out of the habit and perhaps a little embarrassed to return. The problem is, you become conditioned to be active in one environment only.
The gym isn't making you fat. The health club isn't failing you. The problem is what you do, or more specifically don't do, when you can't make it in for your work out!
An active lifestyle doesn't require a daily trip to the gym. Most people can make it to the health club once or twice a week, which a definite step in the right direction. But how can you support your active lifestyle on the other days?
Try these tips for activity outside the gym:
Use your steps: If you take 10,000 steps in a day you have done the equivalent of 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise. A pedometer is a great tool to keep track. Don't think your steps are limited to walking, wiggling your hips while standing in line at the grocery store, pacing while on the phone or dancing in the kitchen while making dinner are great ways to increase your steps.
Use your chores: Simple household chores like vacuuming, sweeping, washing dishes, folding and carrying laundry can be use to build you active lifestyle. An hour of house-cleaning is equivalent to 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise. Outdoor chores such as raking are more intense and provide the same benefit in just 20 minutes.
Use chunks: Taking Fido for a 15-minute walk twice per day can fulfill your bodies need for activity. Breaking your activity into 10 or 15 minute chunks May be more convienient on busy days. It is also a great tool while traveling. If you can walk 15 minutes to your gate and 15 minutes to baggage claim when you reach your destination, you've done well for yourself that day.
Give yourself credit: Building an active lifestyle is easier if you reward your efforts. Set a goal of getting the equivalent of 30 minutes of exercise every day for a week and give yourself a reward when you get there.
Give yourself a break: Some days it is easier to be active than others. If you miss a day, don't beat yourself up. Move on and do better tomorrow. Go back to the gym. Find a new class at the health club. Get excited about what you are doing for yourself!
Active people significantly reduce their threat of heart disease, stroke, cancer and all other major diseases. Give the gift of your health to the people who count on you.
Eliz Greene is a heart attack survivor, author and nationally known speaker on a mission to encourage women to recognize heart disease as their most serious health threat and provide down-to-earth strategies for active and healthy lives. Learn more about Eliz and the Embrace Your Heart Wellness Initiative at www.EmbraceYourHeart.com
All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.