Tips for Increasing Physical Activity
Make physical activity a regular part of the day
Choose activities that you enjoy and can do regularly.
Fitting activity into a daily routine can be easy-such as taking a brisk 10
minute walk to and from the parking lot, bus stop, or subway station. Or, join
an exercise class. Keep it interesting by trying something different on
alternate days. What's important is to be active most days of the week and make
it part of daily routine. For example, to reach a 30-minute goal for the day,
walk the dog for 10 minutes before and after work, and add a 10 minute walk at
lunchtime. Or, swim 3 times a week and take a yoga class on the other days. Make
sure to do at least 10 minutes of the activity at a time, shorter bursts of
activity will not have the same health benefits. To be
ready anytime, keep some comfortable clothes and a pair of walking or running
shoes in the car and at the office.
More ways to increase physical activity
- Join a walking group in the neighborhood or at the
local shopping mall. Recruit a partner for support and encouragement.
- Push the baby in a stroller.
- Get the whole family involved-enjoy an afternoon bike
ride with your kids.
- Walk up and down the soccer or softball field
sidelines while watching the kids play.
- Walk the dog-don't just watch the dog walk.
- Clean the house or wash the car.
- Walk, skate, or cycle more, and drive less.
- Do stretches, exercises, or pedal a stationary bike
while watching television.
- Mow the lawn with a push mower.
- Plant and care for a vegetable or flower garden
- Play with the kids-tumble
in the leaves, build a snowman, splash in a puddle, or dance to favorite music.
- Get off the bus or subway one stop early and walk or
skate the rest of the way.
- Replace a coffee break with a brisk 10-minute walk.
Ask a friend to go with you.
- Take part in an exercise program at work or a nearby
- Join the
office softball or bowling team.
- Walk, jog, skate, or cycle.
- Swim or do water aerobics.
- Take a class in martial arts, dance, or yoga.
- Golf (pull cart or carry clubs).
- Canoe, row, or kayak. Play racket ball, tennis, or
- Ski cross-country or downhill.
- Play basketball, softball, or soccer.
- Hand cycle or play wheelchair sports.
- Take a nature walk. Most important - have fun while
Source: USDA, www.MyPyramid.gov
Last Editorial Review: 12/21/2005