Get moving for a longer, healthier life
Inactivity can contribute to poor health. Studies show that sitting for more than three hours at a time may increase your risk for kidney disease, Type 2 diabetes, even nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Activity is the key to building stronger muscles that let us keep doing what we like to do without having to depend on others.
Guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that each week healthy older adults get at least two hours and 30 minutes of aerobic exercise such as brisk walking. That's about the same amount of time you would spend watching a movie. They also suggests doing strengthening exercises that work the muscles in the legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms on two or more days per week.
There's no need to do all 150 minutes of exercises at the same time. You can see benefits from short bursts of activities, even as little as 10 minutes at a time, so long as you exert some effort during those 10 minutes, the CDC says. Remember to check first with your doctor if you have medical problems and are starting a new exercise regimen.
How to get started
The hardest part to regular exercise can be getting started. These tips can help:
- Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely). One SMART goal might be: "I will complete a 5K walk by the end of this year."
- Share fitness goals with friends and family. It's a good way to be held accountable.
- Find an activity you enjoy and a workout buddy with similar interests.
Once you become physically active, you'll start to feel much better. Being physically active can help you achieve or maintain a healthy body weight, have better balance, feel more content, sleep better, and increase your energy. In addition, regular exercise may help you avoid or better manage health conditions such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, depression, arthritis, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer.
Blue365 can help you reach your exercise goals through savings on a number of health care and wellness products and services, including a 31 percent discount on the Walkadoo pedometer and social walking program.