Did You Know Exercise Could Help Improve Your Overall Health and Wellness?
Staying active is one of the key factors in maintaining long-term health. Fitting exercise and even moderate activity into your daily routine; however, isn’t always easy.
Whether it’s because of a busy schedule or a health condition, you may find it difficult to get the daily exercise you need. The following are five easy ways to stay active.
1. Prepare your meals at home
Cooking at home not only means healthier eating but is an easy way to stay active and burn a few extra calories.
Standing on your feet, moving around the kitchen, and chopping and mixing food burns a lot more calories than eating out.
When you take into account shopping for groceries, pushing a cart, and the clean-up after a meal is over, this can add up to a lot of activity.
2. Get moving with your pet
Getting a pet, especially a dog, will help improve your overall activity level. You’re more likely to enjoy moving if you have a cat or a dog to play with.
Taking daily walks and spending time with your pet outdoors is a fantastic way to get moderate exercise that is both fun and healthy.
Having a pet may also reduce anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
3. Consult with a physical therapist
Physical therapy can help improve long-term injuries that never completely healed and reduce the pain from chronic conditions such as arthritis. Even if you’re in relatively good health, physical therapy can help you stay active and feel more energetic.
A physical therapist can design an exercise routine that can improve your overall stamina, strength, and flexibility.
Whether it’s athletic improvement or the ability to carry out daily activities with greater ease and endurance, physical therapy can provide a number of benefits.
4. Get moving during your work breaks
If you have a desk job, you should already know how important it is to get up and periodically start moving around. You can walk the stairs or around the perimeter of your office during lunch breaks.
There are even simple exercises and stretches you can do at your desk. If you don’t work outside the home, you can still incorporate walking breaks and intermittent stretching into your daily routine.
5. Go walking!
You probably already know that walking is one of the easiest and best forms of exercise. But are you taking advantage of all your opportunities to walk?
Are you walking up and down the stairs in your home or apartment instead of always taking the elevators or staying seated for long periods of time?
Even walking to the end of the drive each day to get the mail instead of picking it up from the car window can make a difference.
There are a few tips to follow that will encourage you to walk more:
- Get a walking partner. Having someone who will keep you accountable will help you stay motivated on the days you don’t feel like walking.
- Walk with a pedometer. A pedometer is a low tech item that counts the number of steps you take. It’s a fun way to keep track of how far you’ve walked.
- Wear more comfortable shoes. If your feet are sore because of shoes that fit poorly, you’ll be less likely to spend time walking. A physical therapist can help you select the best shoes.
Another tip on getting active
The key is to find a fun activity that you enjoy doing and that also fits your current fitness level. If you spend your days hobbling painfully from your bed to your reclining chair and back, the notion of pursuing any kind of vigorous activity may be the furthest thing from your mind.
The truth, however, is that getting active can vastly improve your health, your comfort, mobility, and overall quality of life.
Remember to avoid injuries!
While it’s always important to get active to relieve aches and pains, and to improve your health and wellness, it is also important to avoid injuries.
Here are some great ways to avoid injuries while also staying active:
- Using the proper equipment. When engaging in any type of physical activity, it is important to make sure you have the right equipment. For example, running shoes, hiking boots, helmets, and more can help you avoid injury and stay safe while doing the activities you enjoy. They can make all the difference when it comes to preventing injuries.
- Staying within your abilities. It is important to train and practice for any physical activity you’d like to try. Start small in the beginning and build up from there. For example, if you aren’t used to running but you’d like to complete a 5k, don’t start off with 3-mile runs. Begin with a half mile and slowly build up. When you push your body past its current limits, you make yourself more prone to injuries because your body is not prepared for the physical demands being asked of it. A physical therapist can help you understand the limits of your body and can create an exercise plan for you to reach your physical goals.
- Hydrating and eating nutritious meals. Did you know that your body is over 70% water? Because of this, it requires water in order to remain supple and function properly. Without adequate water and nutrition, your body’s tissues are more prone to over-stretching and injury. Make sure you drink the recommended 8 glasses of water a day, and always keep a water bottle with you when you are working out. If needed, you can also replenish your electrolytes with sports drinks, such as Gatorade.
- Stretching. This is one of the most important ways to prevent injuries. Your tissues require water in order to be elastic, and stretching helps to bring water into the tissues. This increases muscle flexibility and prevents them from becoming stiff or tight, thus decreasing the chances of them over-stretching and/or tearing.
Ready to get started?
Making a few simple changes in your life can dramatically increase your activity level.
These changes, along with visiting Empower Physical Therapy, can improve your health and overall well-being.