Is your busy schedule getting in the way of your health? Try these easy workouts during work, your lunch break, or at home to stay fit!
Exercise is vital for heart health and the prevention of many illnesses and diseases. In fact, being inactive can increase your chances of heart disease, muscle and bone loss, diabetes, and many other chronic diseases. Sedentary lifestyles have even recently been linked to more deaths than obesity, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN).
The good news is that you can get active and prevent these conditions. Check out these four easy ways to squeeze in a workout during your busy day.
Hippocrates, a doctor of Ancient Greece, once said, “Walking is man’s best medicine.” Luckily, it’s easy to add more steps to your day. Instead of taking the elevator, opt for the stairs or get off the subway a stop early to walk more, for example. Take breaks throughout the day to walk around, and if you don’t have time, fidgeting has even been proven to improve blood flow and help protect the arteries in your legs. Any movement is better than sitting still. Sitting for more than eight hours at a time has also been proven to increase your chances of type 2 diabetes by 91 percent, according to the American College of Physicians.
If you get a lunch break, use it to speed walk. Taking a brisk 20-minute walk each day has been proven to reduce the risk of death anywhere from 16 to 30 percent in one study by the AJCN.
Stretching is an easy way to get in some exercise throughout your day. You don’t have to be super flexible to benefit from stretching. It helps to increase blood flow to your muscles and can prevent injuries by giving your joints a full range of motion. If you sit at a desk all day, try stretching both arms over your head from time to time. Sit up straight and hold your arms up for ten seconds.
You can get in some creative muscle building at home or at your desk too, like using a book to work your triceps. Hold it above your head and move slowly up and down your back, without completely locking your arms. Other ways to build muscles include quick chair squats, elevated pushups on your desk or a table, or actively working on your posture and engaging your abs. Maintaining healthy, strong muscles helps you to move freely, keeps your body strong, and supports your joints. Activities that keep your skeletal muscles strong also help to keep your heart muscle strong.
Start building strong bones along with strong muscles too.
Besides walking, there are plenty of ways to keep your heart pumping at no cost. You don’t need to have a gym membership to get the exercise you need in a day. Instead, try some low-impact jumping jacks, pretend jumping rope, or run in place for 30 seconds at a time. You can even get in some exercise while playing with your kids, like stopping for a few minutes here and there to do some high knees or jump squats. Get your kids involved with some quick, easy cardio exercises while you’re at it too.
It’s important to keep up with an exercise routine to remain healthy, so find something you enjoy and keep at it. Find out what happens to the body when you exercise, and start feeling your best today.
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Healthfirst is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Healthfirst group of affiliated companies.
This health information or program is for educational purposes only and not intended to treat, diagnose, or act as a substitute for medical advice from your provider. Consult your healthcare provider and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.
Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.
“Stretching: Focus on Flexibility,” Mayo Clinic. February 1, 2017.
“Lack of Exercise is a Major Cause of Chronic Diseases,” National Institutes of Health. November 23, 2014.
“Physical Activity,” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. January 14, 2015.
“Prolonged Sitting,” National Institutes of Health. July 1, 2016.
“Sedentary Time and Its Association with Risk of Disease,” Annals of Internal Medicine. January 20, 2015.
“Healthy Muscles Matter,” National Institutes of Health. October 2015.