Physical Activity is the third in a blog series helping you to focus on making healthier choices and living healthier life.
Struggling with weight is nothing new, and if weight loss is achieved, many struggle to maintain it. With hectic schedules, convenient foods, genetics, and changes in your metabolism that accompany age, weight loss and maintenance can be a challenge. We know the struggle so let’s change the approach! Let’s focus on leading a healthier life by setting realistic goals, making deliberate choices, rewarding ourselves for goals achieved, and reaching out for assistance when we need it without focusing specifically on weight loss.
If you have not, we invite you to read the first two blogs in the series. They focus on changing to a healthier living mindset and developing a healthy eating plan. It may be a good idea to check your current BMI. AARP has a BMI calculator that can be used by a person of any age to help you determine where you are currently and where you should be based on your height and current weight.
Let’s Get Moving!
Developing a healthy eating plan combined with physical activity can mean success! Success in living a healthy life and managing weight involves a combination of eating fewer calories and burning more energy through activity. Staying physically active is most helpful in keeping weight off and lowering the risk of certain diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, and it just makes you feel good!
It is important to always check with your physician before beginning a physical activity routine. Age, health conditions, and surgical or testing procedures will affect your exercise routine. Working with your physician and starting slowly can make all the difference in achieving your health goals.
The American Heart Association recommends:
- At least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or a combination of both, preferably spread throughout the week.
- Add moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening activity (such as resistance or weights) at least two days per week.
- Spend less time sitting. Even light-intensity activity can offset some of the risks of being sedentary.
- Gain even more benefits by being active for at least 300 minutes (five hours) per week.
- Increase amount and intensity gradually over time.
Ready to Begin?
Exercising may seem like a chore to some and some just love it! If you are in the group that consider it a chore, find ways to make it fun. The following activities can be easy and fun, and you can get healthy while doing them:
- Walking or riding a bike in your neighborhood.
- Join a walking club at a mall or at work.
- Play golf at a local club.
- Join a dance class.
- Work in your garden.
- Use local athletic facilities.
- Join a hiking club.
- Join a softball team or other sports team with coworkers, friends, or family.
- Chase your kids in the park.
- Walk your dog.
- Take a walk during your lunch break.
For the beginner, one way to be more active is to do more everyday activities, such as:
- Taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Stretching or taking a walk during breaks at work.
- Spending less time watching television and working on the computer.
- Spending more time doing activities such as gardening or household chores.
- You can also exercise in front of the TV by doing mild aerobic activities such as walking in place, stretching, and lifting weights.
- Walking 20 minutes a day, three days a week.
- Join a gym or the local YMCA and work with a trainer to develop an exercise plan that changes as your stamina and endurance change.
The next level includes adding more moderate activities such as:
- Increasing your walking to 45 minutes a day with a gradual increase in speed and increasing the number of days you walk.
- Carrying heavier items when doing housework or yard work.
- Riding a bike with more intensity.
- Trying tennis or dancing.
- If you have an interest in running, develop a program to begin running.
- Flexibility exercise to improve joints and muscles.
- Strength-building or resistance exercises.
- Aerobic conditioning.
Are You Ready for High-Intensity?
When comfortable and with approval from a physician, you can move to high-intensity (vigorous) activities:
- Walking longer distances at increased speeds.
- If you run, continue to increase duration and speed as you are able.
- Walking uphill carrying weights.
- Increasing your bike riding time and intensity.
- Joining in more active sports such as basketball or soccer.
Benefits of Regular Activity
- Your weight is much easier to control when you are active.
- Physical activity can be fun.
- You can participate in activities with a group for support and motivation.
- You will feel and look better when you’re physically active.
- Physical activity is good for your heart.
- Physical activity is a great way to burn off steam and stress and helps you beat the blues.
- You will have more energy.
This series will continue to deliver tips to help you achieve your goals. There are times when focusing on making healthier choices presents challenges and help is never far away. Speak with your healthcare provider about your health goals, your weight goals, your overall health, and the challenges you face. Your provider can assist in guiding you on your health journey.
As part of living a healthier life, RPM Healthcare offers remote patient monitoring for weight loss and maintenance with the goal of not only helping you feel good, but to prevent or help treat heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.