We all know exercise is good for you both physically and mentally. At a minimum, we should do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week, or half that amount (75 minutes) per week of vigorous exercise. But the majority of Americans get much less — one in five adults aged 19 and over gets less than 30 minutes of physical activity per week.
I think a lot of us feel guilty because we’re not more active, but we’re not guilty enough to do something about it. Instead, we create excuses to get us out of trouble. For example:
“I’m so tired after working all day.” Maybe it is, but ironically, the best way to energize yourself is to get some exercise. Lying on the couch makes you more tired.
“Exercise is boring.” Check it out if you choose a boring form of exercise. But there are many options if you are simply looking for them. How about watching TV or listening to your favorite cheerful music while exercising on the treadmill or stationary bike?
“Exercise is uncomfortable.” If you’re not in good shape, moving your body at first will be uncomfortable. But as you go, things will get better.
And of course the final excuse: “I am very busy.”
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There’s no doubt about it, Americans are busy, and we’re proud of that. We are the most productive society in the world and the most difficult to work. We rarely take vacations, and when we do, most of us stay connected to work through our phones and computers. Should our work ethic be commended? Perhaps, but the cost is high. At the very least, it prevents us from adopting healthy lifestyle practices, such as regular exercise, which is the key component of aging well.
How can we improve this situation? Here are some tips:
How do you add an exercise regime to your daily routine?
The answer to a healthier lifestyle is to incorporate exercise into bits and pieces throughout the day. The key is the cumulative effects, especially when it comes to weight management.
A good example of this is walking up the stairs. Climbing stairs offers many benefits, including burning a lot of calories and strengthening the legs. To determine the calorie cost per trip, multiply the number of steps by 0.3. For example, every time you go up And the On a 15-step ride (typical in the average home), you’ll burn roughly 4.5 calories (twice as many as going down – 3.0 kcal higher versus 1.5 calories).
While that doesn’t sound like much, throughout the day it wouldn’t be hard to squeeze in 20 rides. At home, go up and down the stairs during TV commercials. At work, find excuses to leave your desk. Or you can take multiple flights during the lunch hour. For those who work in a tall building, you can climb several flights at once, and you can dump them on your way to and from work.
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Research data that supports the benefits of climbing stairs is abundant. In one study, sedentary people gradually increased their daily climbing stairs in a public building by adding one additional flight each week and working up to a total climbing time of 13.5 minutes per day. Despite the limited time required, the participants significantly increased their cardiovascular fitness and raised HDL, the good kind of cholesterol that protects the heart. This is a big bang for the buck.
Why you should exercise now to prevent the difficulties of aging
Going out of your way to climb stairs can also help you avoid the downward spiral that often accompanies aging in the United States.
As we age, the things we used to do and take for granted become more physically challenging, and climbing stairs is the ideal. As climbing stairs becomes more difficult, it is normal to reduce it, and avoid it if possible. The less you work, the weaker you get, which makes the task more difficult, causing you to take less stairs. In the end, you find that you are too weak to climb even one set of stairs.
Since stair climbing gets harder with age, let me encourage you to do more of it, not less. Give in to looking for more opportunities to climb stairs and eventually you will find that it becomes easier and easier. Furthermore, increased strength and fitness will extend climbing stairs and make other things you do throughout the day less physically challenging.
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Tips to exercise if your knees are bad
What if you have a bad knee? Push with your good leg and pull the bad to the top of the step. If both knees are bad, stair climbing is not for you, but assuming you can still walk, even if you need a walker or cane, look for more opportunities to walk. Again, even if it is in small portions, you can accumulate a large number of calories that you spend throughout the day, plus you will maintain at least a minimal amount of strength and fitness.
Walking a full mile at a comfortable pace in bits and pieces, women will burn about 60 calories and men 80 calories (men burn more calories because they are bigger). It doesn’t sound like much but keep in mind the long run. In one year, assuming you don’t eat more, walking a mile per day at 80 calories per mile will accumulate (80 x 365 days) 29,200 calories consumed, which is enough to burn more than 8 pounds of body fat (3,500 calories). per mile). pounds of fat). If you don’t, the alternative is what usually happens and you gain at least one pound of body fat per year, while potentially losing some muscle mass. This exchange of fat for muscle maintains your weight, misleading you into believing that you are not gaining fat year after year.
Why is cumulative exercise better in the long run for weight loss
The key to the cutting and cutting exercise, whether it’s climbing stairs or walking, is the cumulative effect. All you need is a reminder to move. Set a timer and each time it rings he takes off for a short walk or a flight of stairs. It will refresh you more than a cup of coffee, and over time you will lose body fat and improve your health.
You can reach Bryant Stamford, Professor of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology at Hanover College, at firstname.lastname@example.org.