You might be one of those folks who feels that regular workouts or an exercise program is something that will fit into your life later—like when you win the lottery and have tons of free time. But there are small things you can do—either solo or with your family—that can get your heart pumping before you win those millions. After all, you want to be in decent shape when your ship comes in, right?
Start slowly—But start
Guidelines for exercise can seem pretty daunting. The American Heart Association recommends that adults get 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise weekly. The good news is that you don’t have to hit those goals right off the bat. Work your way up to those totals over as many weeks as you need. Moreover, you can break those minutes into 10-minute chunks. Maybe you can walk around your office building during a 10-minute break or leave enough time before an appointment so you can walk around the block.
If you have kids or other relatives in the house, find activities that you can do as a group. Pull up dance videos online and try to match the dancers’ moves, or have your mom and dad show the young ones how it was done in their day. You can schedule a session of classic kids’ games like freeze tag, hopscotch or duck, duck, goose—and even if the whole family ends up laughing until they cry, that’s good, too. It’s good for all of us to get away from our screens for a while and teach kids that it’s fun to move on a regular basis.
Pickleball is a paddle sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis. Two, three or four players use solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball, similar to a wiffle ball, over a net.
Another way to add movement to your day is through low-intensity activity. Usually, this refers to exercise that makes you breathe a little harder and gets your heart pumping but doesn’t put as much stress on your joints as running does.In fact, many swear by this level of activity because it is believed to keep your muscles in fat-burning mode longer. To get the greatest benefit, do this exercise in longer sessions.(Think of a long, slow simmer instead of a flash in the pan.)
Try: walking, yoga, tai chi, swimming or water aerobics