Making Physical Activity a Part of Your Life

Congratulations! You are doing some regular physical
activity each week and are ready to do more. You may be feeling the benefits of
getting active, such as having fun with friends, sleeping better, and getting
toned. Are you looking for ways to do more activities at a moderate level?

 

Here are a few more:

 

You can do
more by being active longer each time you exercise.

 

Walking for 30 minutes, 3 times a week? Go longer—walk for
50 minutes, 3 times a week.

 

You can do
more, by being active more often.

 

Are you biking lightly 3 days a week for 25 minutes each
time? Increase the number of days you bike. Work up to riding 6 days a week for
25 minutes each time.

 

Tip: If you have not
been this active in the past, work your way up.

In time, replace some
moderate activities with vigorous activities that take more effort.

 

Activities for
stronger muscles and bones

 

Advice to follow:

 

Adults should do activities to strengthen muscles and bones
at least 2 days a week.

 

Choose activities that work all the different parts of the
body—your legs, hips, back, chest, stomach, shoulders, and arms. Exercises for
each muscle group should be repeated 8 to 12 times per session.

 

Try some of
these activities a couple of days a week:

 

-Heavy gardening (digging, shoveling)

-Lifting weights

-Push-ups on the floor or against the wall

-Sit-ups

-Working with resistance bands (long, wide rubber strips
that stretch)

 

Tip: Some
people like resistance bands because they find them easy to use and put away
when they are done. Others prefer weights; you can use common grocery items,
such as bags of rice, vegetable or soup cans, or bottled water.

 

For best
success

 

- Team up with a friend. It will keep you motivated and be
more fun.

- Pick activities that you like to do.

- Track your time and progress. It helps you stay on course.
Before you know it, you'll be able to do at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of
activities at a moderate level each week.

- Add in more strength-building activities over time. For
example, you can do sit-ups or push-ups.

 

Shaping up

 

Thought from a satisfied dad: "My son and I play in a
baseball league twice a week. On the days we play, I sleep much better at
night. This makes me want to do more on other days. My son wants to lift
weights together, and so we got some weights and work out in the
basement."

 

Planning
your activity for the week

 

Physical activity experts say that spreading aerobic
activity out over at least 3 days a week is best. Also, do each activity for at
least 10 minutes at a time. There are many ways to fit in 2 hours and 30
minutes a week. For example, you can do 30 minutes of aerobic activity each
day, for 5 days.

 

On the other 2 daysFree Reprint Articles, do activities to keep your muscles
strong. Find ways that work well for you.

 

Want to
learn more about how to add physical activity to your life?

 

-Join a fitness group.

-Talk to your health care provider about good activities to
try.

-Speak to the worksite wellness coordinator at your job.

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