Your body was made to move! Yet only a few of us use our bodies as much as we should. Many of us lack the ability to push ourselves to the full range of motion and strength that we are intended to have. There are two major aspects that our bodies should have: the ability to move and the ability to sustain that motion for a period of time. Our muscles provide our bodies with structural alignment and strength needed for the motion and our heart and lungs allow our bodies the ability to have adequate amounts of oxygen to move for a duration of time.
The more you move the more your body wants you to move; the more you breathe the deeper your body allow you to breathe. To keep your body’s optimal physical state, there should be a balance between the amount of energy consumed (what you eat and drink), the amount of energy used (physical activity and daily fuction), and the types of movements and effort you ask your body to exert.
There are activities that we can be engaging on a daily basis to move our bodies and activate our hearts and breath. We can choose to take the stairs, put a pep in our step when we walk to and from our cars, add hobbies that require more energy such as gardening, tennis or golf and finding ways to move as many muscles in our bodies as we can.
It is primordial to be physically active in order to burn the appropriate amount of energy and to develop a healthier lifestyle. Educating ourselves on what activities will help us obtain our health goals is the first step. After determining your goals, speak to your doctor before engaging or increasing your activity level. You can also seek a professional in the field who can make sure you are engaging in activities that are appropriate for your current fitness and health level.
When increasing your activity level, the easiest place to start is by adding some aerobic activity to your life. Aerobic activity maintains your heart rate at a higher level where the activity you are performing is challenging but can be sustained for a period of time to build your endurance; it uses your cardiovascular system and aerobic muscles.Aerobic activity, refers to the exercises that we perform that use more oxygen and are meant to be done for a longer period of time. During aerobic activity, oxygen is distributed through your blood to trillions of cells in your body. When you condition your body to operate aerobically, with a proper diet and consistent exercise, your metabolism is activated and your body uses fat as your primary fuel.
The American College of Sports Medicine suggest aerobic exercises should be performed at least 3-5 times per week for 30 to 45 minutes each time. When you are starting out, schedule a training plan in order to make sure you stick to your goals and make these changes part of your new habits. To increase the chances of your long-term success, choose activities that are fun for you: walking, dancing, hiking, running, skating, rowing, swimming, biking, high-intensity interval training, jumping rope, martial arts, boxing, etc.
In order to improve your cardiovascular health safely, it is important for you to understand what your optimal aerobic level is. The easiest tools to use are step counters (goal 10,000 per day) or a heart rate monitor (which lets you know where you are at all times), both are relatively inexpensive and easy to use. However if you want to get started and need a baseline for your aerobic training heart rate, you can use the formula: 180 minus your age, and use that as your ideal aerobic heart rate goal.
Remember every little counts! So even if you start to add 10 minutes around the block 3 times per day you can easily be on your way to creating a more active lifestyle