We all know that exercise is an important part to staying healthy, but between family, work, and other obligations, it can be really challenging to squeeze it in. The truth is that most of us don’t get enough exercise. While the CDC recommends 2.5 hours of moderate activity and an hour and 15 minutes of “vigorous activity” each week, a study conducted by the University of Maryland and Penn State found that most Americans only get a total of two hours per week of physical activity on average. That’s far below the recommended levels.
And the consequences of inactivity can be severe. People who don’t get enough physical activity can lead to a variety of health issues, including obesity, depression, heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other conditions. In fact, the “sedentary lifestyle,” where a person doesn’t get enough daily activity, is considered to cause approximately 300,000 premature deaths each year and cost $90 billion in healthcare costs.
Luckily, there are a lot of things busy adults with a lot on their plate can do to ensure they get enough exercise. Here are a few ideas to help you get enough activity during the day and week, even if you don’t have time to hit the gym. Just remember, no matter what activity you do, it’s important to stretch first!
Clean Up the Yard
Ok, so raking leaves and gardening might not be everybody’s idea of fun, but these activities can keep help you burn excess calories as easily as running, swimming, or other forms of exercise. But we’re in the time of year where it’s important to get these things done anyway, so you might as well get as much out of them as you can!
Clean Up the Neighborhood
Are you a step counter? Lots of people strive to hit 10,000 steps a day, and for good reason; there are a lot of health benefits to walking (even if the number is somewhat made up). But you don’t always have to go on a stroll. You can organize and/or participate in a neighborhood cleanup. Simply grab some trash bags and walk around your neighborhood picking up whatever you find on the ground. Not only will you be getting in steps, but you’ll be dramatically reducing the amount of trash and debris that goes into the environment. Just don’t forget to bend from the knees when picking up litter!
Sweep Away the Calories
Unless you’re the type of person who enjoys cleaning, this one definitely isn’t the most enjoyable. But doing light housework can burn as much as 191 calories in an hour! This can include dusting, sweeping, scrubbing the tub, etc. Clean your house for an hour a week and you’ll definitely get at least a day’s worth of movement in.
Pretend You’re Still a Kid
They say age is just a number and you’re only as old as you feel. So why not do some physical activities that you might not have done since you were a kid? That could be hula hooping, jumping on a trampoline, or maybe even playing a game of hide and go seek with your kids. All of these are fun ways to engage your mind, spirit, and body while also having some fun.