MARCH HEALTH CHALLENGE – GET ACTIVE

March signals the end of winter and the start of spring, and for many of us the first real chance to get outside. The winter months wreak havoc on many of our fitness plans, leading to inactivity and the dreaded winter weight gain! As the temperature starts to rise it’s time to make a plan to get back on track with your fitness.

We have spent the last two months tweaking small parts of your nutrition to prepare you for increased activity levels. The first step was to start eating more fruits and vegetables. Then we tackled the kitchen and the pantry, a sweet spot for unhealthy foods. It is now time to switch gears from healthy food habits to healthy exercise habits. As most experts will tell you, health cannot be achieved through diet alone; exercise plays a crucial role in our health. Completing the holy trinity of health is good mental health (we will get there… just not this month).

Our March health challenge is to get ACTIVE EVERYDAY!

Now you may be thinking that this challenge is a lot! For some, being active everyday is a lot, but for many of us being active means making small changes to our everyday routine and lifestyle.
The benefits of being active far outweigh the negatives. Longevity and quality of life are greatly improved when we keep an active lifestyle. In addition to being healthier and more functional into our later years of life; exercise can, boost levels of happiness and reduce stress, improve sleep, increase memory, and decrease the likelihood of chronic disease. Exercise benefits can come from an hour of exercise in the gym or just a few minutes of getting off your butt when watching TV, of course the more often we exercise or get active the greater the effect. The important thing this month is to start another healthy habit and continue to build off our last two months of success.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends:

Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week
Exercise recommendations can be met through:

  • 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise
    • Brisk walking, water aerobics, cycling at 5 to 9 mph on level terrain or with few hills, or playing doubles tennis
  • or 20-40 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise
    • Hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack, swimming laps, cycling at 10 mph+  with plenty of hills, or playing singles tennis
Exercises should also involve motor skills (balance, agility, and coordination) and be multifaceted activities (tai chi or yoga or athletics) to improve physical function and prevent falls
The above recommendations are great starting point for getting active because they give us definitive times and levels that we should try and exercise at. Unfortunately for many of us our busy lives or unfit bodies may preclude us from performing exercise in this way. The good news is that for this month’s health challenge we simply want you to be active everyday! Maybe one day you decide to go for a walk, maybe another day it’s doing a yoga class, and another day taking the stairs instead of the escalator. There are so many ways to fit activity and exercise into our everyday lives that there should be no excuse why we can’t be active every day!

Check out these great tips to squeeze in a little more activity everyday:

1. Walk more! Park further away; use the stairs instead of elevators; carry your golf clubs; if your kids play sports walk around the field or gymnasium instead of sitting the entire time. Spending some extra time walking is an easy way to be more active.

2. Try a new class. Exercising in groups tends to motivate people more and also provides an important social aspect that keeps people coming back week after week! Whatever your interest there is class out there for you.

3. Commercial break = Exercise break. Try doing a quick 3 minute body weight workout doing squats, pushups, jumping jacks and planks every other commercial break. Trust us you’re not missing anything watching those commercials.

4. While you’re cooking or waiting for the kettle to boil; walk or run your stairs, do some lunges or a quick yoga flow. Exercise also helps ramps up your metabolism, burning extra calories even after we have stopped.

5. Pick up a sport, even if it’s just on the weekends. People who cram all their exercise and activity into the weekend have almost the same benefit as those who exercise consistently throughout the entire week.

6. Clean something. A 20 minute deep clean and organize of a room in your home, washing the car, or scrubbing the floors, all burn extra calories and get us moving. Two for one bonus here, you got active and also cleaned something that you were probably putting off.

7. Get a dog, if all of the above seem like too much. Doctors are now prescribing to people who have suffered a cardiac event (like a heart attack), to get a dog to help them get walking on a daily basis.

It is important that we be active when trying to be healthy.
Without exercise even the best laid plans may fall short.

Friday, March 03 2017

Posted by: Sparkling Hill Resort

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Health & Wellness Insights from Kurspa Fitness & Exercise

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