The beginning of a new year is the time when many people make resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle.
Are you among those who are determined that “this is the year I’m going to start an exercise plan and eat healthier!”? Without a doubt you are one of millions who are mentally geared up and excited about kicking off 2018 with a healthy lifestyle plan.
While you may not like it, exercise – regular physical activity – is an important crucial component of your plan. And in order to keep exercise a part of your lifestyle for a long, long time, the American Heart Association (AHA) suggests you’ll want to “find forms of exercise you like and will stick with, and build more opportunities to be active into your routine.”
The benefits of an exercise plan are many, even during cold weather. “Exercise boosts your immunity during cold and flu season. Just a few minutes a day can help prevent simple bacterial and viral infections,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you wish to exercise outdoors, AHA suggests the following outdoor activities:
- Brisk walking or hiking
- Jogging or running
- Raking leaves
- Shoveling snow
- Ice skating
- Cross-country skiing
Other great advice about staying warm and comfortable during cold weather exercising can be found here.
What if you’re not a fan of exercising outside when the weather is cold or downright nasty? Don’t worry. There are lots of other options.
Above all, don’t give in and become a couch potato if you want your exercise plan to be successful. AHA advises, “If the winter weather prevents you from getting outside, don’t just reach for the remote. Make your time inside count. There are many ways to get physical activity indoors – no gym required. Hand weights or resistance bands are a great addition, but not necessary. You can also wear a weighted backpack to add intensity to your workout.”
AHA lists a few (of many) indoor activities that will get you up and moving!
- Active housework like vacuuming and sweeping
- Mall walking
- Roller skating
- Yoga or other fun group classes at your local gym or community center
- Stair climbing
- Home workout circuit
If you are looking for guidance in implementing an exercise plan, these easy-to-follow illustrations may help you get started and make every move count.
These examples illustrate how impactful physical activity can be:
- 10 minutes of stretching is like walking the length of a football field
- 2½ hours of walking every week for a year is like walking across the state of Wyoming
- 30 minutes of singles tennis is similar to walking a 5K
- 20 minutes of vacuuming is similar to walking one mile
Source: American Heart Association, “Make Every Move Count” infographic
So, let’s hear it for no more excuses! Sometimes the hardest part of exercise is getting started… so put on your coat, hat, gloves, and get moving! And remember to stretch and warm up first. Also, as with any significant changes in lifestyle, check with your doctor first about your exercise plan.
I have been compensated for my time by Heartland Food Products Group, the maker of SPLENDA® Sweetener Products. All statements and opinions are my own. I have pledged to Blog with Integrity, asserting that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is vitally important to me.
For more information about adopting a healthier lifestyle, visit the Healthy Lifestyle section of this blog.
Sue Taylor is a consulting nutritionist with more than 35 years of experience. She is passionate about sharing her nutrition knowledge and fondness for good, healthy food. Sue will put relevant information in consumer terms and provide valuable perspective to clear up misinformation and confusion about nutrition and food safety.