Tips for being Active (NDPP#6)

Try to make physical activity a part of every day. Walk to work, take a physical activity break at lunchtime, or go for an after-dinner stroll. That way it’s easy and fun, not a time crunch.

Choose activities you enjoy. That way you’re more likely to stick with it.   If you’re just starting out, go slow and work up gradually.   Work physical activity into your daily life.

List the activities you like (swimming, bowling, biking) and the rewards you hope to gain (better heart health, reduced stress). Then plan how to make them part of your daily routine. At work, carve out 10 minutes to walk during lunch. If you have children, ask your family, friends or neighbors to pitch in to watch the kids while you take that dance class you’ve always wanted to sign up for.

Involve family and friends in your physical activity program. You’ll gain support and companionship. You don’t need to go it alone!

Keep at it, and within three months or less, you’ll notice a big difference in your fitness level. You’ll feel better, have more energy, sleep more soundly and reduce your stress.

If you are just starting out here are some activity progression samples:

Beginners: standing activities, ironing, cooking, playing a musical instrument, etc.

Light: slow walking, garage work, house cleaning, childcare, etc.

Moderate intensity: faster walking, weeding the garden, cycling, tennis, etc.

High intensity: walking fast with a load uphill, basketball, climbing, soccer, etc.

You also may want to try:

  • Flexibility exercises to attain full range of joint motion
  • Strength or resistance exercises
  • Aerobic conditioning