Tips to Building Healthy Physical Activity Behaviors

by The Cooperative
Get up and move! It is recommended that adults aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days per week, which includes two or more days of muscle strengthening exercises. Fortunately, anyone can get their heart pumping and muscles firing! Establishing a healthy relationship with physical activity can encourage a lifelong commitment and overall desire for optimal health.
Why is Physical Activity Valuable?
Regular activity provides a variety of physical and mental health benefits. Incorporating aerobic exercise and strength training into your weekly routine can increase muscle mass, aid in stress management, and support brain health.
In fact, even performing quick bursts of activity every day can produce the following benefits:

Consistent and long-term physical activity can improve mobility, balance, and physical function required to complete daily tasks. Acquiring an active lifestyle can even influence our nutrition choices and positive coping mechanisms for stress. Therefore, we can remain healthy, energetic, and independent throughout our lifespan.

Tips to Jumpstart a Healthy Activity Routine
  1. Slow and steady wins the race. If exercise is relatively new to you, ease into your routine. Gradually building from light to vigorous movements will increase endurance and prevent burnout. Physical activity is also mentally charged; an individualized pace can encourage a positive mindset and long-term motivation.
  2. Strategize your exercise. We all have daily obligations. Scheduling a specific time, activity, and location for exercise can keep you organized and focused. Set a reminder in your phone, on your calendar, or on a post-it note. If you have a 30-minute block open for the day, why not work in some movement?
  3. Find your favorites. Hesitant of running or jump squats? No need to worry. Choose an activity that you enjoy, and most importantly, will maintain your interest over time! Experimenting with various forms of physical activity can help you pinpoint the type of movement you love. It can be as simple as a brisk walk around the neighborhood.
  4. Tap into your creative side. If you’re still skeptical of structured exercise, throw a creative spin on it! Walk in the mall. Go rollerblading with your kids. Dance to your favorite songs. Just. Have. Fun. An elevated heart rate will be an added benefit.
  5. Acquire a workout buddy. If you need that extra boost of motivation, find someone in your life with like-minded goals. Maybe your spouse would like to join you on a bike ride, or you have a friend that could accompany you to yoga classes. Having a strong support system can be a powerful tool in keeping you accountable.
  6. Simplify success. Some physical activity is better than nothing. Yes, you read that correctly. When exercising, try to shy away from an “all or nothing” approach. There will be days when a full activity regimen will be difficult. You might only have five minutes; show up, do the work you can, and acknowledge your effort.  
Whether you swim, bike, or practice yoga, physical activity should be an enjoyable component of your day. Remember to embrace the activities that spark excitement and fit into your lifestyle. The bottom line? Move more. Sit less.

Share this article:

Related Posts