Did you know that 80 percent of the U.S. population falls short of the Physical Activity Guidelines recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services? Millions of Americans are risking serious health consequences simply because they do too much sitting and not enough moving around.
You may not find that information shocking, especially if you’re one of those 80 percent. What really might surprise you, however, is just how easily you can give your daily activity level a dramatic boost. Here are seven simple tips from our physical therapist for adding some much-needed additional exercise to your life.
1. TAKE YOUR DOG FOR A WALK.
Have you ever marveled at the sheer energy and endurance displayed by your dog? Dogs love to walk, run, play catch and explore.
Join in these activities, and you’ll find that your dog gives you one heck of a workout.
2. GET YOUR WORKOUT IN WHILE WATCHING TV.
There’s nothing wrong with spending some quality time watching your favorite TV shows or movies – but you don’t necessarily have to spend all those hours sprawled on your couch, motionless.
Consider getting a stationary bike or treadmill that you can use while you’re catching up on your stories. You’ll have just as much fun, but you’ll be working out instead of sacking out.
3. OPT FOR A STANDING DESK.
Standing desks have become all the rage in workplaces, and for good reason.
Standing at your desk instead of sitting can help prevent unwanted weight gain, regulate blood sugar levels after meals, ease back pain, elevate your mood and energy level, reduce your heart disease risk, and add years to your life expectancy. You may even find that you get more work done!
4. FIND A YOGA STUDIO NEAR YOU.
Physical activity isn’t always a matter of running or jumping around at a frenetic pace. Yoga offers profound benefits to body and mind by releasing stress, stretching muscles, increasing your range of motion, and helping you master your breathing.
A yoga class offers structured learning as well as a positive social environment.
5. DISCOVER THE FUN OF A NEW SPORT.
Getting that extra activity doesn’t have to be a chore; it could just as easily take the form of new fun.
Have you thought of taking up tennis, golf, surfing, swimming, running, or a team sport such as soccer or softball? These sports all offer different physical benefits, and they all get you up and moving.
6. RIDE YOUR BIKE.
If that trip to the corner store takes too much time on foot, maybe it’s time you remembered how to ride a bicycle.
Cycling exercises different muscles than walking, making it a valuable complement to that discipline when you need to go a little farther and a little faster. It also provides you with a significant cardio workout.
7. WHEN POSSIBLE, WALK INSTEAD OF DRIVE.
Many people automatically get into their cars even for a brief trip to the mailbox or corner store. What if you spent an extra few minutes each day walking instead of driving?
It might not sound like much of a workout, but walking increases the circulation, exercises your legs and feet, sheds excess pounds, keeps your joints limber, and helps to release stress.
LOOKING FOR MORE TIPS? ATHLETIC TRAINING COULD HELP!
People most commonly turn to physical therapy after sustaining an injury. You’re in pain, looking for relief and recovery, and trying to find the motivation to push yourself to get there.
Physical therapists are trained to help you bounce back from your injury, with just as much strength (if not more!) than you had before the injury. They are dedicated to always helping you reach your peak, whatever that may be.
You can discover the benefits of athletic training with our physical therapists. These include, but are not limited to:
- Overcoming injuries. Physical therapy treatments are some of the best ways to overcome an injury and find relief for your pain. Each treatment is designed specifically to the needs of each individual and the condition of their injury, consisting of exercises and strength-building activities that are unique to their recovery.
- Refocusing strengths. A physical therapist can help you focus on improving your strength in areas that you may not have considered. Many parts of the body influence each other, and strengthening one can help with the function of another. Rather than jumping directly into a new form of activity, it makes sense to train your body to react to the new form of stimulation by improving your muscular strength and range of motion.
- Developing healthy habits. While a physical therapist can help you reach physical goals, they can also help you work on general wellness goals, as well. For example, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and a strong focus on hydration are fundamental in improving your physical fitness level. A physical therapist is a great resource to have when focusing on increasing strength and muscular functionality, as they can help you improve in all aspects of health and wellness.