Small Steps: Get More Exercise (Without Knowing It)

by in Healthy Tips, July 15, 2010

women walking

Studies show that most folks don’t move enough, and it’s one definite step to getting healthier. If you’re reading this and making the “I hate exercise” face, don’t fret. Start slow! Here are five ways to exercise without even realizing it.

The Benefits
Besides helping you lose weight and stay trim, exercise has numerous other benefits. It helps improve your lung and heart functions and helps lower blood cholesterol (especially of the “bad” cholesterol). It’s also a great way to cope with anxiety and stress (it works wonders for me) and improve stamina. And when you continue to exercise for a while, you’ll feel even better about yourself!

The Goal

According to the Dietary Guidelines, 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week is suggested in order to help prevent diseases like heart disease and diabetes. The 30 minutes doesn’t have to be done all at once (so two bouts of 15 minutes works), but you do want your heart rate to go up.

If you’re thinking that you’re life is already too hectic and you just don’t have the time, here are some ideas that may help you get started. Remember, it’s a matter of your health we’re talking about (something many folks don’t make a priority).

#1: Go for a walk
It’s the easiest way to start exercising — just take a walk. Many people become couch potatoes after dinner. Instead, go for a walk with your significant other, child or even dog and talk about your day. Remember the days where everyone wasn’t addicted to electronics and people actually spoke to each another?

#2: Play a game of tag or hide-and-go-seek

Enjoy the beautiful weather and have fun with the entire family outside. Play some of your old favorites — remember red light-green light? Teach these classics to your kids while having fun and moving around.

#3: Forgo the close parking and elevators
Parking a little further and taking the stairs are easy ways to get in some extra steps during the day.

#4: Have a garage sale
Need some extra cash? Gather up your extra knick-knacks and set up for a garage sale. With all the moving around, you’re sure to get in those 30 minutes of physical activity – just be careful not to hurt your back with any heavy lifting.

#5: Boogie to your favorite tunes
We all have our favorite music, so turn the volume up and get moving! We love having dance parties with our friends — kids (and adults) don’t stop moving. You can do this indoors or outside.

TELL US: How do you get in your daily dose of exercise?

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »

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