September 27, 2006 at 3:15 PM CDT - Updated July 9 at 8:41 AM
Try a Step Challenge with your family! Buy a Step Counter or Pedometer for each family member (even the kids!) and have a contest for who takes the most steps one afternoon or who takes the first 1,000 steps.
Get some aerobic activity. It speeds up your heart and breathing. Choose activities that are fun, and you'll be more likely to stay active. Try brisk walking, bicycling, swimming, dancing, basketball, or soccer.
Move your body! Add activity to your daily routine. Try using the stairs instead of the elevator, jog in place, use hand-held weights while talking on the phone, or ride a stationary bike while watching TV.
Make staying physically active a lifelong habit. Teaming up will help keep you motivated. Try working out with family, friends, or a church group. Also, keep a pair of sneakers at your job to sneak in a walk whenever you can.
Do physical activity for enjoyment and watch the health benefits follow. Getting exercise doesn't have to mean painful, strenuous workouts. Anything that burns calories counts.
Get strong! Strength training will help you burn extra calories and build strong muscles, bones, and joints. Experts recommend strength training two to three days a week.
Most overweight people should lose weight gradually. For safe and healthy weight loss, try not to exceed a rate of two pounds per week. Steady and slow is the way to go.
Use small rewards to attain your goals. An example would be a new music CD. Numerous small rewards delivered for making small goals, are more effective than bigger awards.
Shaping is a behavioral technique in which you select a series of short-term goals that get closer and closer to your ultimate goal. For example, if you want to exercise five days a week and are currently inactive, set a goal of exercising two days a week and slowly work your way up.
To successfully maintain an exercise routine, choose a variety of activities that you'll stick with, listen to your body and stop when you're uncomfortable, and get support from family and friends.
Get more activity into your schedule, and remember that every little bit helps. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, play with your kids or pets more, exercise while watching TV, or park your car further away from your destination.
Walking is the easiest way to exercise. You can do it anywhere, anytime. In addition to burning calories, walking will boost your energy, reduce stress, help you sleep better, and control your appetite.
Try to get as much physical activity into your schedule as you can. You should aim for thirty minutes five days a week. If you've been inactive for awhile, start slowly and work at a comfortable pace.
It's a myth that all exercises give you the same benefits. The fact is that low-intensity activities, if performed daily, can have long-term health benefits and lower your risk of heart disease. Such exercises include brisk walking, biking, and swimming.
Most people don't get enough physical activity just from their daily routines. We all should make a habit of getting thirty minutes of low to moderate levels of exercise every day.
It's a myth that people who need to lose some weight are the only ones who will benefit from regular physical activity. The fact is that exercise gives you energy, reduces stress, improves sleep, lowers blood pressure, and improves cholesterol levels.
The phrase no pain, no gain is a myth. Physical activity should not be painful. More intense activity burns more calories, but you can accomplish the same effect by lowering your intensity and exercising a few more minutes.
Stay active at work. Try to brainstorm project ideas with a co-worker while taking a walk. Since activity enhances creativity, you could come up with some great ideas, and possibly burn 100 calories if you walk at least a half mile briskly.
Increase your exercise by just five minutes each day. Walk that block one more time or just walk up the street to see a neighbor. Stretch more at the beginning and end of your exercise routine.
Turn to exercise, not food, when stressed. It is easy to grab that bag of chips but if you get up and move around, you will feel better both physically and mentally.
Father/Daughter walks can be a very special time to catch up as well as a way to stay active. Plan a walk together once a month and make it fun. Maybe offer a reward or tell a story about your childhood.
While you watch television try doing a few jumping jacks, leg lunges, or sit-ups. It's amazing what you can do in 30-seconds.
Do what you really like to do when thinking about activity. Do you like to dance, hike, skip, rock climb, or swim? Be sure to include activities that make you happy.
Parents joke that once children learn to walk, they never slow down. The truth is they do- and sooner than you think. From the moment kids start school, they spend more time sitting than they do moving about. Research shows that inactivity not only contributes to weight gain but also to future susceptibility of serious health problems.
If you want to encourage your kids to exercise more, getting them walking is a good place to begin. It takes no special skill, ability, or equipment, and it works for all ages.
Parents, if you walk more yourself to set the pace as a healthy role model and create situations in which walking arises naturally, your children will follow your lead.
Alternate walking with other activities during your family strolls through the neighborhood. A great boredom reliever for younger kids is to name every other block according to a different activity, such as Skipping Street or Leapfrog Lane.
Spring is here! So get out and enjoy the nice weather with your family. Play kickball in the yard, take a hike, or play a game of tag. It's great exercise for the whole family.
Make exercise part of your children's homework. This is usually the big chunk of time that they have to accomplish goals.
Pump up the Family! When parents and kids eat right and exercise together, healthy homes can be happy homes. Just DO something a few nights and weekends that makes you move around. DON'T sit all the time.
One of the most powerful rewards for kids is spending time with their parents. Any activity you do together is bonding time. Bike, walk, play soccer, run around the house, skip to the end of the street are just a few examples.
If you child is in preschool or day care, make sure there's plenty of playtime built into the day.
Be on the lookout for innovative programs in your community. Try checking out the Parks and Recreation Department's programs for this season.
Healthy living beats skinny living hands down. In a recent study, obese women who focused on being healthy, regardless of their size, achieved greater long-lasting health benefits than women who focused on dieting. When you change your eating and exercise habits, make improving your health your primary goal, and take the focus off the bathroom scale.
Do 10 minutes of stomach crunches and leg lifts before you get out of bed. Increase the number daily until you reach at least 50 of each.
Got exercise? A recent study (Pennsylvania State University and Johns Hopkins University) indicates that exercise is more important than calcium in developing strong bones in girls and young women.
Park three blocks from the home or office you're visiting and walk briskly the rest of the way. Even short walks can increase your fitness level. And it's an easy way to preview the neighborhood.
Find exercise videos that you love, and carve out a space indoors with the equipment you need. The great thing about having an exercise video collection, and the right space, is that you have absolutely no excuses!
Adding muscle to your body will raise your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories all day long. So find a magazine or book article that shows you exercises for all major muscle groups. Do your set of repetitions during commercial breaks. You'll get a 20-minute workout during ONE 60-minute show!
Exercise your priorities. In truth, we can all find the time to do something if it is important enough to us. The secret to fitting walking into your life is to change your perspective on how you spend your time and to accept the value of allocating time for yourself.
Exercise with your dog! Dog yoga sounds too weird to be true but consider that many yoga poses are inspired by animals. The Downward Dog mimics a stretch dogs do naturally every day of the week. So consider doing a bit of yoga with your pooch this month.
Play Frisbee with your dog and get in a little exercise yourself. Certain breeds love to run and catch and it is great way to motivate you and your kids to get outside.