walk for health
Taking Your Fitness Back
Idolized gym memberships, incredible fitness trackers that let you know when to walk, bottles that tell you when to drink water, apps that show you exactly how you sleep, stationary bikes that mimic open road topography, nutrition plans calculated down to the calorie… what do all of these have in common? They all take fitness and free will out of your hands and make you depend on them. It’s the 21st century, so of course we have all of this brand new technology that can help us get fit and healthy in so many ways… uhh so why is obesity at an all-time high?
The Dependent Exerciser
From a practicality stand point you would think that since we have so much tech at our disposal we should be healthy as ever! While that seems obvious it definitely isn’t the case. We depend so much on this stuff that we simply can’t function without it.
Many people simply don’t exercise if they can’t it make it to the gym. They can’t workout unless it’s in that atmosphere. Or many forget to drink water unless an app or bottle tell them to. Heck, many people don’t even walk unless their tracker tells them to get up and move around. In fact, many people freak out when they forget to wear their fitness tracker because “Their steps won’t be counted”.
When we need to be reminded to walk and drink water it’s time to rethink our perspective.
So that’s why this Spring we challenge you to live life on your own terms and forget about being tied to the trackers, apps, and apparel.
Getting Back To Your Roots
Remember when you drank water because you were thirsty? Well keep that up! Or remember when you actually did things outside like walking… gardening… golfing? It’s time to get back to these simple, yet highly-effective movements to get back in shape. Let’s make a pact:
Simply get outside walking 45+ minutes a day.
This can help you in so many ways like helping to reduce stress and depression as Dr. Sara Warber put it in an issue of the journal Ecopsychology, “Walking is an inexpensive, low risk and accessible form of exercise and it turns out that combined with nature and group settings, it may be a very powerful, under-utilized stress buster. Our findings suggest that something as simple as joining an outdoor walking group may not only improve someone’s daily positive emotions but may also contribute a non-pharmacological approach to serious conditions like depression.”
This doesn’t just go for walking either. You can plant a garden or herb patch. Go nature hiking. Walk the dog. Push mow the lawn (yeah, right). Walk 18 holes of golf. Go swimming. Play baseball or softball. Just get outside and exercising. The point isn’t that you have to be outside, the point is that you don’t have to be in a gym to get fit… you can do it at home or outside as well.
Once we start breaking through that mentality that you can only exercise or lift in a gym, the world opens up and the opportunities are endless. No longer will you be tied to a brick and mortar structure that helps you get fit. Instead you can get healthy, love life and take in nature anywhere you want to go!
Don’t stop there! Get more of the best at home fitness tips and great recipes at DIYactive.com!
Who doesn’t want to look great when they are single? Well, honestly who doesn’t want that all the time? The point is that when we are single or just dating we tend to pay more attention to our health, or at least our fitness. Find the right one, settle down, get married, and more than likely your health will start to slip.
Now, this could be a combination of life getting busier. As we get married / older, with family and a career we can be pinched for time, but this is also related to the fact that since we found the one we love, we aren’t as “worried” about looking sexy. It’s the whole mentality of “I have no one to impress!” Before you know it, you wake up one day and you are 20 pounds overweight with decreased muscle strength – wow that snuck up fast, huh?
Never fear, it’s time to grab the hand of the one you love and start getting healthy again. This isn’t just about looking good either (which is a nice reward), it’s about improving your overall quality of life!
The Monthly Calendar
Grab a fresh monthly calendar and grab a pen – it’s time to create a plan! How many days are you going to exercise? How many days are you going to get outside and be active (walking, jogging, yardwork)? Basically, try to at least workout or get outside walking each day and mark that down on the calendar. Oh yeah, you will be doing it together as well – nothing like building bonds, right?
Create a Functional Space
One of the main reasons people don’t actually exercise is because they don’t want to drive to the gym… it can be annoying. Plus, you don’t want to deal with the people there. Well, create your own functional gym space right at home. Just find an area large enough for both of you to spread out (living room floor?) and designate that as your workout area. Grab some mats, stability balls, bands, dumbbells…etc. and you will be ready to go. You may be able to cancel your expensive gym membership too and save some cash.
TV Time Issues
Look, I know you just want to relax when you get home from a long day of work, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit like a zombie watching reruns of Friends. Grab a book, play a board game, or just talk with your loved ones. While this isn’t a physically active tip, it is a mentally active tip and if you want to improve your overall health you need to be of strong body AND mind!
Clean Up the Kitchen
Head to the kitchen and give it a makeover. How much junk food do you have packed into the cabinets and fridge? Doesn’t that make it incredibly easy to constantly snack? It’s time for an intervention. It’s time to ditch the junk food. It’s time to replace it with healthy, wholesome, natural foods. That is step #1 when it comes to eating healthy and therefore getting in shape.
Home Cooked Goodness
This goes with the above suggestion. Many of us dine out at least 2-3 times a week because it’s convenient and delicious but think of all those extra calories you are slamming down in those big meals. Anyways, do you actually know if they are using natural, healthy ingredients? It’s time to cut back on this and only dine out once a week. That’s what we do and it makes that weekly dinner a more special occurrence. On top of that, by making your own meals (while more time consuming), you actually know what you will be ingesting. Plus, by thinking ahead you can make bigger dinners in order to have healthy left-overs you can take to work for lunch!
More than anything, your partner could be your biggest motivational source by holding you accountable to live a healthy life (and you do the same for them). By holding each other accountable, you make sure you both stay active and cut down on the junk food. That in itself will help you both enjoy a healthier life together!
There doesn’t have to be a fitness plateau when it comes to your marriage. By vowing to be healthy together (which means you can give more back to each other) and implementing just a few tips, you can help each other overcome any obstacles!
If you are looking for more fitness and nutritional tips, head on over to DIY Active: “Fit.Food.Life.”
Are you worried about exercising too much? Apart from the obvious risks associated with lifting too much or having poor form, there is no need to worry about over-exercising. Recent research in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that adults shouldn’t worry about exercising too much, but be more worried about exercising in general to improve their health.
Can You Exercise Too Much?
The research found that just small bouts of exercise – even just standing while working – is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease! On top of that, by exercising more you can reduce your risk even further. What’s more is that only 50% of U.S. adults engage in 150+ minutes of moderate weekly activity (or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise). The Editor in Chief of the journal, Dr. Valentin Fuster explained, “The greatest benefit is to simply exercise, regardless of the intensity, while the danger is two-fold: to not exercise at all or to exercise intensely, without due preparation.”
The researchers found that this mythical “upper limit” of exercise was just that – a myth. Compared to physical inactivity, this upper limit of exercise still reduced overall mortality. In fact, even for the excessive endurance athletes that have been training their whole lives, the amazing benefits of exercise still trumped the associated risks of over-exercising!
Co-chair of the ACC Sports and Exercise Cardiology Council, Dr. Michael Scott Emery explained, “The public media has embraced the idea that exercise may harm the heart and disseminated this message, thereby diverting attention away from the benefits of exercise as a potent intervention for the primary and secondary prevention of heart disease. The available evidence should prompt clinicians to recommend strongly low and moderate exercise training for the majority of our patients. Equally important are initiatives to promote population health at large through physical activity across the life span, as it modulates behavior from childhood into adult life.”
Just Get Up and Be Active
So how can you simply get started exercising more? It doesn’t have to be complex and confusing. For instance, as the study mentioned, simply standing while working at your desk (or purchase a standing/treadmill desk) is a great way to get you on your feet and improving your health. Apart from that, you can also start walking every day. Walking for 45+ minutes daily after work or during your lunch break is a low impact way to improve your exercise capacity.
Try this: Make a conscious effort to stand at your desk for a total of one hour per day and walk 30-45 minutes each day as well. This doesn’t have to be all at once either. It can be a combination of little bouts of exercise throughout the day that add up. Now is the time to get started!
Exercising too much shouldn’t even be on your radar if you are physically inactive (or ever). No matter the time of year, start improving your health by simply getting active. You don’t have to start running a 5K every day or busting out a 90 minute workout each night. Simply get up, believe in yourself, and start living the healthy life you deserve!
To get the best health tips, recipes, and motivational tools check out DIY Active: “Fit.Food.Life,” and join the DIY Nation!