We've all heard about the importance of maintaining fitness and regular cardiovascular exercise. However, many of us don't get nearly enough activity to stay fit, due to sedentary jobs and lifestyles, busy schedules, etc. Many join gyms only to find a few months later that they are paying their monthly dues and not showing up for their "workouts".
Regular moderate daily physical activity goes a long way to help us maintain and improve our fitness. as well as our sense of well-being. Below are a few ideas to help you find ways to stay active every day:
Play: Have you ever noticed that adults workout and children play? Find an activity you really enjoy and you are more likely to do it more often. Go out dancing. Join a sports team like ultimate frisbee or softball. Go rollerblading or bicycling. Play more often.
Walk 15 minutes away from your house and then return: Walking is one of the best forms of exercise and almost anyone can do it. A recent study found that people who walked their dog 20 minutes daily 5 days a week lost 14 lbs in one year and improved their flexibility and balance. They also felt more positive and energetic. If you have a dog, walk it every day; if you don't, walk it anyway.
Integrate little walks and activities into your daily routines: Run small errands without your car – bike, walk, and ride public transit. Park in the far corner of the parking lot and walk to the front door. Walk two flights up and three flights down in multi-story buildings.
Take a hike: Hiking not only gives us a chance to get in a long walk, it also can take us into the beauty of nature. We are blessed in the Bay Area to have many urban parks, scenic waterfronts, and accessible wilderness areas to hike in. Hikes vary greatly in length and intensity, so choose one that is right for you. If you have trouble being active on a daily basis, try to plan a weekend hike for an hour or so.
Be more active with your household chores: Do vigorous housework (Hey, maybe you'll even save money on housecleaning too!). If you have a yard, work in your garden. Listen to music and dance in your living room.
Participate in classes to improve your fitness: Many local gyms, in addition to weights and treadmills, offer classes such as step aerobics, pilates, and stretching. San Francisco abounds with yoga studios, tai chi classes, pilates studios, and Curves franchises. If scheduling your activity works better for you, consider which activity speaks to you and go for it. SOMA Acupuncture can help you find a neighborhood activity that suits you.