Every year we make New Year’s resolutions and the most common ones are: “I am going to lose weight”, “I am going to start eating right”, or “I am going to start exercising.” Well, it has been a month. How are you doing on those resolutions??
According to the Mayo Clinic the best way to improve your health is: to start. That’s right…just start! Get out each day and get moving. Sounds easy but we all know that time has a funny way of slipping by very quickly. You get up, get ready, and leave for work or school. There is never enough time in the morning when you have a thousand other things occupying your time or your mind. Here are a few tips to help you get out there and get moving!! *Always consult your physician before starting any exercise programs and use common sense! You should feel the muscles working but you should not feel pain!!!
- Try standing more at work instead of sitting at your desk. If your job requires you to sit most of the day, try moving your work to allow you to stand and work. As an added bonus you can do small exercises while you are standing to increase the amount of exercise you are getting while working! The easiest way to do this is with small lifts. While standing in line or standing at work raise up to the balls of your feet and slowly lower your feet back to the ground. This will work your calves and your thighs increasing the calories you burn as well as strengthening your muscles.
- While sitting at your desk try moving your shoulders at least twice during an hour. Do small shoulder rolls forward and backward to help reduce stress in the muscles and release tension. You can also do neck rolls. Tilt your neck to the left and hold it for no less than 7 seconds. Repeat to the right, forward and back. For added resistance you can gently pull your head closer to your shoulder and hold. This should be a gentle tug and should not hurt. If you feel it is hurting ease up on the pressure. As with all stretches you want to feel it but you do not want to hurt!
- Any movement that works your muscles will burn more calories than sitting still. While sitting at your desk you can also do leg lifts. Raise both legs and then flex and point your toes. This will help work your muscles in your legs and keep blood circulating. Plus it feels good!!!
- One of my favorite exercise tips was from an interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger! He encouraged children to get up, get out and get moving when he was the Chairman of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. He said that if you are going to watch television it does not have to be a waste of your time. He recommended that instead of fast forwarding through the commercials to exercise during those breaks. Think about it….most hour long television programs are actually only about 45 minutes long. If you exercise during the commercial breaks that will give you approximately 15 minutes of increased work out time! And that is only for one program!! You can start simple and do jumping jacks or even just walking in place. Walking in place and lifting your legs waist high burns more calories than sitting on the couch! As you start moving more add crunches or steps (again consult your physician and modify your routine to accommodate any health issues you may have). I like to walk in place with high leg lifts for the first break of commercials and then as the commercial time gets longer (at what I call the half-way point of the program) I add stepping up on the fireplace. You can just as easily use a plastic crate, a step stool, or step ladder….you do not have to go out and buy a step for this. Just make sure whatever you use to step on is stable. We don’t want to fall. Get creative!
- Surprisingly routine chores also burn calories! Mopping, sweeping, and vacuuming burns approximately 258 calories! Washing windows or dusting about 230. Even walking your dog will burn about 230 calories plus it gives you and your dog fresh air and time to wind down and relieve some of the stress of the day.
Getting out there and moving does not have to be hard. But let’s face it….it only works if you want it to work. A wise person knows that we make time for what is important. Make moving important to you and you will find ways to implement it in your life. What have you got to lose??? So…..Get out there and Get Moving!!!!!!