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The Power of Movement

The Power of Movement

The Power of Movement

Living an Active Lifestyle

 

Being consistently active helps you to live longer, have a better quality of life, improve your mental health, and improve your self-image. Take charge of your mental and physical health in only a few minutes a day.

 
You can make big improvements to your health and energy levels by making small and deliberate healthy lifestyle choices that involve moving more every day.  Here are a few key tips to remember to be successful.
 

  • Emphasize Fun.
    • What is something you love? Whether that’s music, birds, friends, trampolines, or books, you can shape your activity plan around the things you love. Walk to and from a spot where you can listen to the birds every day; explore local libraries from top to bottom; take the stairs when you visit friends; take a dance class that incorporates music you love. Make the things you love part of your activity plan.
  • Attach Activity to Habits.
    • Taking a walk after dinner is a time-honored way to get moving. What is something you do regularly? Whether it’s going to work, cooking dinner, getting the mail, or brushing your teeth, any habit can be an opportunity to move.  Try doing a one-minute wall-sit every time you brush your teeth, or practice dance steps while cooking dinner or lift your bag over your head every time you go into your house.  Any routine behavior can have a small activity bonus built-in.
  • Involve Others.
    • Chances are, your friends, family, and co-workers want to be more active, too.  Set active living goals together, see if you can aim for incremental advancements and variety in your routines.  You could walk an extra two miles a week—or three more flights of stairs.  When you meet someone, who shares your activity goals, keep moving.  Swap sitting at the coffee shop for walks and go around the block while catching up.
  • Be Forgiving.
    • If you have a sedentary day, let it go.  Don’t overwork the next day or punish yourself—just try to be active every day!  Encourage yourself the way you would encourage your best friend.  It is about progress, not perfection.

Daily movement reduces the risk of many health conditions—protect your health! If you already have a condition, movement reduces the symptoms. Research shows that movement helps with conditions across a broad range:

  • Many forms of cancer
  • Depression, stress, and anxiety
  • Cardiometabolic diseases including prediabetes, diabetes, hypertension, stroke

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Stephen Fogg

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