Why Is It So Hard to Exercise?

 

Anyone can have a difficult time making exercise part of their routine. Often it comes down to motivation! Try these tricks to reach your fitness goals:

  • Become an early bird. Many individuals get in their workouts in the morning, when willpower is at a maximum level and before it dwindles throughout the day.Alarm clock
  • Get other people involved. Think of kid- friendly activities that your children will enjoy with you or find a friend who likes the same things you do, like running or spinning.
  • Set smaller goals. It is much easier to fit ten minutes of movement into your day every few hours than to find a larger chunk of time in your schedule. Take one bag of groceries in at a time from the car, do sets of 10 squats or push-ups in between loads of laundry, or take stairs two at a time to get your heart rate up.
  • Keep equipment front and center. Sometimes a simple thing, like putting your workout gear in your living room, can be key to feeling more motivated.

Source: webmd

 

Staying Active in Wintertime

Father and daughter in snow

Winter months can be a challenge for daily physical activity because the need does not change in cold weather. Adults can ensure children (and they) are moving and developing their muscles by providing large muscle play opportunities. Action rhymes are a great way to get everyone moving. What are action rhymes? These are songs or poems set to motion that tell a story. Some classic action rhymes include “Row Your Boat,” “Ring Around the Rosy,” and “Head and Shoulder, Knees and Toes.”

When winter weather will allow, walking in the snow is a workout in itself; make it more interesting by searching for animal tracks. Pretending to be those animals when there is snow on the ground is a fun new game. Old-time favorite activities like creating a snow angel, dancing the “Hokey Pokey,” or playing the game “Duck, Duck Goose” are also a workout in the snow. Throwing snowballs at a target (a red circle in the snow made using food coloring) will satisfy the throwing urge and no one gets hurt. Following the leader or marching in a circle lifting those legs as high as they can go and swinging arms gets many muscles working.

Source: Posted on December 24, 2012, by Shannon Lindquist, Michigan State University Extension.

Fall into Physical Activity

Fall is upon us. Out with the humid scorchers and in with the crisp fall air. Fall is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the weather with some fun seasonal Walking in leavesactivities. Being active increases your ability to prevent simple infections, just in time for cold and flu season! As you enjoy fall and prepare for winter, give these seasonal fitness activities a try.

• Plan a backyard holiday football game.
• Sign up for a 5k walk or run.
• Grab a friend or family member and go for a brisk walk.

Don’t like the cold? Explore some inside activity options like a spin (cycling) class or a new aerobics class at your local fitness center.

For more information, visit Healthy for Good.

Indulging in Physical Activity

 

What do you think about when you think of being physically active?Woman with water

Did you know that thinking positively about physical activity can actually change the way you experience it? According to a study in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, people tend to enjoy physical activity much more if they already believe that the exercise will make them feel better.

Start thinking of physical activity as a treat instead of a chore:

  • Remind yourself of times when physical activity was fun! Recall how you felt playing  softball or racing your bike as a kid.
  • While engaging in physical activity, be mindful of the pleasant effects it’s having on your body. Think: “I’m breathing more deeply!” “It feels good to be using my muscles.”
  • Enlist friends and family as cheerleaders. Celebrate your small successes on Facebook or Twitter—“Just walked two miles in 40 minutes. Not out of breath!”
  • Pair physical activity with the things you already enjoy. If you’d like to spend more time with family or friends, take a group hike with them. If you’d like more time for yourself with a good mystery, get an audio version of the book and listen to it on the treadmill.

For more tips on indulging in the luxury of physical activity, visit food.unl.edu/fitness-indulgence.

Sources:
Psychology Today
Esquire

“Exercise is Medicine”—A Worldwide Fitness Trend for 2017

The American Medical Association and American College of Sports Medicine partnered on a global initiative called “Exercise is Medicine.” The vision encourages primary care physicians and other health-care providers to assess every patient’s level of physical activity at each clinic visit. This means the health-care provider will determine whether or not the patient is meeting the U.S. National Physical Activity Guidelines. A treatment plan is then designed to meet recommended physical activity guidelines. A patient could also be referred to additional health-care or other qualified community-based professionals as part of the continuum of care.

Sources:

Exercise is Medicine – exerciseismedicine.org

Health & Fitness Journal – doi: 10.1249/FIT.0000000000000252

Body Weight Training

Body weight training is listed as one of the top fitness trends by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) over the past several years (including 2017). Body weight exercises are a basic fitness approach that requires a minimal amount of equipment. Many of these are exercises people have been doing since elementary school: sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, crunches, squats, etc. The popular plank exercises are another example of body weight training.

Some of the benefits of body weight training include that they are free and versatile, can be done anywhere, and improve movement and strength.

This article provides some ideas for body weight training moves: www.acsm.org/public-information/articles/2016/10/07/a-strength-training-program-for-your-home.

For more information about the 2017 fitness trends survey, visit the ACSM website: www.acsm.org.

Swimming

Swimming is the fourth most popular sports activity in the United States and a good way to get regular aerobic physical activity. Just two and a half hours per week of aerobic physical activity, such as swimming, can decrease the risk of chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. For people with arthritis, swimming and other water-based exercises can improve the use of affected joints and decrease pain from osteoarthritis.

Source: www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/swimmers/health_benefits_water_exercise.html

Keep Movin’ in the New Year

The cold weather, along with snow and ice, can make it hard to move outside. Don’t let the cold winter months discourage you into cutting back on your exercise routine. If you don’t currently have an exercise routine, there is no time like the New Year to get started.

  • Consider these indoor activities:
  • Walk at your local maPortrait of smiling people doing power fitness exercisell or your building’s hallways during lunch or coffee breaks.
  • Take the stairs whenever possible.
  • Follow an exercise DVD rather than watching a movie.
  • Do chair exercises while watching the television

Whatever activity you choose, you’ll burn extra calories instead of storing them. The key to an active family is finding fun things to do in every season. Aim for a goal of 30 minutes of moderate activity daily for adults and 60 minutes for kids—no matter the weather!

Information from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
www.eatright.org/resource/fitness/exercise/family-activities/family-exercise-for-every-season

Snowshoeing! An Easy Way to Enjoy Winter’s Beauty

Couple crouching in the snow wearing snowshoesMany people who enjoy a walk in the woods stay away from parks and nature preserves after a heavy snow. If you don’t know how to cross-country ski, it may seem that the trails are impassable.

Unlike skiing, however, snowshoeing is a way of getting around in the snow that nearly anybody can do almost anywhere. Snowshoeing allows you to enjoy the crisp, cold air and the sparkling beauty of a new-fallen snow while burning more than 400 calories an hour!

Snowshoes can cost from $50 to $300. If you want to try them out, you can rent them for as little as $10 a day from some county conservation offices, and also, for a little more, from bike, ski, and sport shops.

To learn more, visit www.polkcountyiowa.gov/conservation/things-to-do/snowshoeing/ or read how a woman discovered the joys of snowshoeing with dogs at extension.unh.edu/articles/Snowshoeing-Dogs

Snowshoeing! An Easy Way to Enjoy Winter’s Beauty

Couple crouching in the snow wearing snowshoesMany people who enjoy a walk in the woods stay away from parks and nature preserves after a heavy snow. If you don’t know how to cross-country ski, it may seem that the trails are impassable.

Unlike skiing, however, snowshoeing is a way of getting around in the snow that nearly anybody can do almost anywhere. Snowshoeing allows you to enjoy the crisp, cold air and the sparkling beauty of a new-fallen snow while burning more than 400 calories an hour!

Snowshoes can cost from $50 to $300. If you want to try them out, you can rent them for as little as $10 a day from some county conservation offices, and also, for a little more, from bike, ski, and sport shops.

To learn more, visit www.polkcountyiowa.gov/conservation/things-to-do/snowshoeing/ or read how a woman discovered the joys of snowshoeing with dogs at extension.unh.edu/articles/Snowshoeing-Dogs

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