Making Activity Easy
Our understanding of fitness has evolved since the “fitness craze” first took hold. Scientific evidence now clearly indicates that regular moderate – intensity physical activity offers many of the health benefits traditionally associated with more intense exercise.
Based on this evidence, a panel of health and fitness experts convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, has urged Americans to lead more active lifestyles in general. The minimum goal for all Americans: to accumulate 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity over the course of the day, for most days of the week.
Moderate-intensity activity includes many of the things you may already be doing during a day or week: walking the dog, raking leaves, playing with the kids, even housework (it may not be fun, but chores, such as vacuuming, can be a workout). For many people, being more active may simply mean taking advantage of or creating opportunities for activity.
For example, walking to work — even if it means parking the car farther away than is typical — can help you accumulate “active time.” So can foregoing the elevator for the stairs, gardening or mowing the lawn with a push mower, or doing other things that can give you a “workout.” The point is not to make physical activity an unwelcome chore, but to seize the opportunities you have and make the most of them.
Of course, if your job or sport requires a higher level of fitness for success, you will need to condition yourself appropriately. In other words, train to meet the specific demands of your lifestyle.
There’s really no mystery to fitness. And though there may be barriers, there are also solutions. Once you commit yourself, the barriers to fitness will be easily surmountable, and the rewards of better living will be yours.