Plus, Achieve a Variety of Benefits By Being More Active.
An active lifestyle can look like many different things depending on who you ask. Generally, leading an active, healthy lifestyle consists of incorporating daily physical fitness into your routine. A healthy active lifestyle and being mentally healthy are two separate things, but both are equally important. Whilst physical health generally depends on two main things: a reasonable amount of active movement and a balanced, well-considered diet, feeling mentally healthy requires one to be in tune with their body, mind, and soul, and take steps to figure out what each one needs in order to feel nourished. Whilst the two require different inputs in order to thrive, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t huge lifestyle similarities in physical and mental health. There are. Just as eating well and ensuring that you get plenty of exercise will undoubtedly help your mental health, feeling confident and comfortable in your body and mind is also likely to encourage you to continue good physical habits.
Similar to the list of risks associated with an inactive lifestyle, the health benefits of leading an active, fit existence are almost innumerable. Increased energy levels, better cardiovascular circulation, healthy blood pressure levels, flexibility, mobility, and a decreased risk of heart disease, stroke, problems associated with obesity, muscle strain, and back pain, are just a few health benefits from regular physical activity. Additionally, exercise has a huge impact on our mental health and can increase clarity, improve focus, boost mood, foster self-confidence, and so much more. The best part about all of this is that you don’t have to hit the gym twice a day or run a marathon to receive the health benefits of exercise and improve your quality of life. Simply incorporating moderate activity into your lifestyle can work wonders. Here’s how.
1. Set Goals and Track Your Progress:
Perhaps you have a goal to lose weight, become more flexible, or get 10,000 steps. Set a goal and apply a timeline to meet that goal. Write out a few simple ways to achieve your fitness dream then, once you’ve achieved it, set the bar higher and start again.
2. Start Slow, BUT START:
Burnout happens when we dive in too quickly into an aerobic exercise routine that doesn’t fit with our already busy lifestyles. Set easy goals that you can squeeze in your daily schedule either before work or after. Choose one day a week that you’ll skip out on lunch and instead go for a walk around the park and eat at your desk when you get back. Ask a friend to join you and you’ll be more likely to hold each other accountable.
3. Raise that Heart Rate:
Not all of us are able to get up and go for a run, and even fewer of us would probably enjoy that anyway! But, wherever possible, a moderate amount of exercise every day (30-60 minutes) that leads you to be slightly out of breath is a good thing to strengthen your body and clear your mind. Exercise doesn’t have to be ridiculously strenuous either. Stretching, walking or pushing, swimming and even sex are all good forms of exercise!
4. Get a Step Counter:
It seems like a very simple way to stay physically fit but so many people are motivated by numbers on a screen. I know I love tracking all my stats on my Apple Watch! A step counter holds the wearer accountable for whatever number they hope to achieve each day. The average American walks 3,000 – 4,000 steps per day or about 1.5 – 2 miles. Increasing your step goal each week is a surefire way to incorporate more physical activity into your daily routine.
5. Get Outside:
Countless outdoor hobbies inherently involve some level of physical activity. Hiking, gardening, tennis, and even cycling require our bodies to move, squat, bend, and stretch. Invite friends to join you for group hobbies or sign up for a class that will help ignite some inspiration and hold you accountable.
6. Get in the Gym:
You may be a bit intimidated in visiting or joining a gym but you shouldn’t be. Everyone is there for the same (albeit slightly different) reason. Whether it is to achieve a specific physical goal, improve your mental state, or build community, all can be done at a gym and you will be on your way to living a more active lifestyle in no time at all. There are things you should consider when choosing a gym or membership that is right for you, check out these tips by CLICKING HERE!! Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn. Regular trips to the gym are great but don’t worry if you can’t find a large chunk of time to exercise every day. Any amount of activity is better than none at all. Consistency is key.
So in wrapping up, more is better, of course, but some physical activity is better than none. So as you remind yourself to get up and move for 30 minutes today, we wanted to also share four benefits of living an active lifestyle to keep you motivated:
- Improve Your Mental Health & Social Wellness: Frequent exercise and an active lifestyle can boost your mood, reduce stress, and help fight depression. It can also allow for connection with others through group activities, which can improve your social health and also help keep you mentally sharp.
- Improve Your Physical Health & Fitness: In addition to diet, increased physical activity can help combat obesity through weight loss and weight maintenance. Living an active lifestyle improves your cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, strengthens your bones and muscles, and improves your ability to do daily activities. Plus, you’ll sleep better. When you get daily moderate-to-vigorous exercise, you can reduce the amount of time it takes for you to fall asleep.
- Gain More Energy: The more you move, the more you improve your heart and lung health. When you live an active lifestyle and your fitness increases, your body becomes more efficient, giving you more energy throughout the day.
- Reduce Your Risk of Major Illnesses: Regular exercise and living an active lifestyle can reduce the risk of illnesses like heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, anxiety, depression, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
BONUS: You may live longer and enjoy the life you live!
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