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We receive a world of benefits from exercise and activity, but many of us still avoid, ignore, or are just too busy to make exercise a regular part of our routine. Many people also feel that exercise is confusing or too physically difficult to do.

If you like it, you’ll do it – so do whatever activity you enjoy!

Moving more than your body is used to every day is a first step to creating a regular exercise habit. If you’re feeling confused about where to begin, here are some simple ideas to get you on the track towards improving and protecting your health.

Do Whatever Activity You Enjoy

Aerobic activity is defined as prolonged continuous movement of large muscle groups. Simply put, that means “do something that keeps you moving.” Ideally, do it for 30 minutes straight. If you don’t have that much time, three 10-minute aerobic activity sessions will benefit you almost as much.

The good thing about aerobic activity is that it includes many of the activities and hobbies you probably already enjoy. Walking, biking, hiking, dancing, swimming and even basketball are all examples of aerobic exercise. You can also accomplish those three 10-minute sessions by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking around the neighborhood after work or parking your car farther away from your destination.

You can even turn shopping into an aerobic activity. Shopping involves walking, so try not stopping for 10 minutes straight and then you’ve worked in one of your daily sessions. Check with your local mall for mall walker programs and you’ll have company. Aerobic exercise is good for cardiovascular health and fitness and is also a primary part of any weight loss efforts you may want to entertain.

Housework is Great Exercise

If you do housework or yard work, you’re doing yourself a favor. The stretching and lifting involved in housework is good exercise. So is the work you do outside. Yard work uses many muscle groups, especially activities like planting and working in the garden. Raking leaves uses your arm and back muscles.

Digging dirt gives your arms and legs a workout. And gardening provides a bonus: You’ll have more fresh vegetables and fruits to add to your diet. Remember that this type of exercise, while good for the muscles, does not always include cardiovascular exercise. So make sure to get aerobic exercise in addition to your housework or yard work for the maximum benefit.

There’s No “Best” Time of Day

It’s really up to you. You can exercise in the morning, afternoon, or evening. Lunch breaks offer an excellent opportunity to get out of the office and exercise. Use your coffee break to take a short walk around the office or block. Get rid of the day’s stress by fitting in an exercise session after work. Whatever time you choose, make sure you stick with it. Establishing a routine will help you adhere to the program. For some people, it’s easier to stay with an exercise program when you do it with a friend or coworker.

The most important part is getting daily exercise. It’s not all or nothing, as some days offer more opportunity for exercise than others. What’s most important is that you exercise when you can make the time.

Make Time to Stay Healthy

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. If you’re basically healthy, start moving today. There’s no time like the present to be the best you can be! If you’re a man age 45 or older, or a woman 55 or older, or if you have any health problems, consult your physician first.

What are your strategies for maintaining a daily exercise routine?

Contributed by

Phil Hardesty
Exercise Physiologist

Have a healthy, happy and fit week!!

Better Health Begins With You...

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