The National Institute on Aging has declared September as “Go4Life” month. Go4Life is a national exercise and physical activity campaign designed to help adults incorporate exercise and physical activity into our daily life.
We all know how important exercise is for our health and yet many of us still do not exercise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “About 1 in 5 (21%) adults meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines” that recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week and muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days a week that work all major muscle groups. To get started on your way to a healthier you, the National Institute on Aging suggests the following Tips:
- Get Ready
Exercise has many benefits. It can help you control your weight, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, strengthen your bones and muscles and improve your mental health and mood.
Exercise falls into four categories: aerobic, strength, balance and flexibility. Most people tend to focus on only one type of exercise, mix it up and choose activities that you are interested in.
- Get Set
Create a plan. As you create your plan, here are some questions you might consider:
- Should I contact my doctor first?
- How many days am I going to exercise?
- Where am I going to exercise?
- What type of exercise will I focus on?
- What equipment will I need?
- When will I exercise?
- Who will I go with?
- What barriers might I encounter? How will I overcome them?
Simply writing out your plan will help to increase your likelihood of achieving of them.
If you have not been active in a long time, start slow and gradually increase the time or intensity of your workout. Once you put your plan into action, track your activities and stick with activities you enjoy and match your abilities.
As you commit to making exercise a part of your daily routine, remember these helpful tips:
- Make exercise a priority.
- Make it easy and fun.
- Make it social by inviting a friend or family member to join you.
- Celebrate your successes.
For more information on exercise and physical activity, visit the National Institute of Aging at https://go4life.nia.nih.gov/ and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/index.html