What is an Active Lifestyle?: A active lifestyle means you are physically active throughout the day. This type of lifestyle includes any activity that gets you moving. Physical activity refers to physical activities such as walking or weight lifting.
This also includes sports. Physical activity is different from other activities, such as reading. This type of work is called sitting. A sedentary lifestyle means sitting all day or not moving much. An active lifestyle has many benefits that can help you prevent or manage health problems.
What are the Benefits of an Active Lifestyle?
- You may be able to easily complete everyday tasks: Exercise can train your heart, lungs, and muscles. This can help you in your daily activities without getting tired.
- You can help control your weight: Exercising helps your body use the calories you eat instead of storing them as fat. Your body will continue to burn calories faster after exercise.
- Improve your health: Exercise can reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Exercise can control your blood pressure and blood sugar levels and lower your cholesterol levels. If you have arthritis, exercise helps your joints move more easily and reduces pain.
- Your bones and muscles will get stronger This prevents osteoporosis and reduces the risk of falls.
- Activity can help improve your mood. Activity reduces or prevents depression and stress. Exercise can also improve your sleep.
What are the Risks of an Active Lifestyle?
Lack of exercise increases the risk of diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Your immune system is weak. That means it’s not good for fighting disease.
How much activity do I need in an Active Lifestyle?
Any job is better than no job. As you transition from a little activity to more activity, you will see health benefits. The following are general guidelines:
Do aerobic activity several days each week: Aerobic activities include hiking, biking, dancing, swimming and leaf raking. Aim for 150 to 300 minutes (2.5 to 5 hours) of moderate activity and 75 to 150 vigorous sessions per week. You can also do a combination of moderate and vigorous exercise.
Do strength training at least 2 times each week: Strength training can help you maintain your existing muscles and build new ones. Strength training includes push-ups, yoga, tai chi, and weight lifting. If you can’t reach weights, you can lift things around the house. Try to work all the major muscle groups like legs, arms, abs and chest. Do 2 or 3 sets in each position. Use something heavier than you can easily lift. You can handle heavy material. Instead of weights, you can also use resistance bands.
What steps can I take to become a more Active Lifestyle?
- Set goals. Set some long-term goals and some short-term goals. For example, you may want to be able to walk for 30 minutes without becoming short of breath. Try not to put time requirements on your goals. For example, do not think you should reach your goal in a month. Set smaller goals, such as walking a little longer each week, or feeling less shortness of breath.
- Be active all day. Activity does not have to mean structured exercise each day. You can be more active by making small changes all day. For example, try parking as far from the entrance of buildings as you can when you run errands. If possible, walk or ride a bike instead of driving. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Keep a record of your activity and your progress. You can do this by writing down your daily activity. Include the kind of activity and how long you did it. You can also use a program on your phone or other device that will track activity for you. Also, record your progress. You may be doing daily activities more easily, sleeping better, or building muscles.
- Step counting can help you monitor activity. A general guide is to take 10,000 steps each day. A pedometer is a device you can wear to track your steps. Some phones have programs that will count and record steps. You may need to work up to 10,000 steps. Start by finding out how many steps you usually take in a day. Then try to take more steps each day than you took the day before.
What tips will help me keep up?
Start slowly and work up.
You do not have to do 30 minutes of activity at one time. You can break the activity up and do a few minutes at a time. Remember that some physical activity is better than none. Stand up during the day, even if you cannot walk around. Your body uses more energy when you stand. You may be able to get a desk that allows you to stand while you type or make phone calls for work. Aim for a speed or intensity that is challenging but not too difficult. You should be able to speak a few words at a time but not be able to sing.
Plan activities you enjoy.
Do a variety of activities so you do not become bored and you stay challenged. Include activities that strengthen your bones. These activities are called weight-bearing exercises. Examples include tennis, jumping rope, and running. Swimming, riding a bike, and similar exercises keep weight off your bones. They will not help strengthen bones, but they will help your heart and lungs work better.
Support the People in Your Life.
Go for a walk after dinner with your family. Meet friends at the park. Take a break with a coworker and walk around. Find someone who likes to go to the gym at the same time you do. You may be more likely to go if you know another person is counting on you. Get involved in community events, such as cleaning a community park. Ask someone to help you stay on track. For example, you can tell the person about your daily or weekly activity.
Treat yourself to a reward when you reach a goal.
The rewards can be for activity done for a certain amount of time each day or days each week. Rewards can also be for progress you make. Have rewards that are not food, such as a new clothing item or book.
What should I know about diet and exercise?
A healthy diet gives you the energy you need to do your job. Exercise and a healthy diet work together to help you reach or maintain a healthy weight. A healthy diet includes fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, cooked beans, whole-wheat bread, and low-fat dairy products. Your doctor can help you develop a healthy eating plan. It can tell you how many calories you need to stay active and lose weight if needed.
When should I call my doctor?
- You notice changes in your health, such as new or worsening shortness of breath.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You have the right to help with your treatment plan. Learn more about your condition and how it can be treated. Discuss treatment options with your doctor to decide which treatment to receive. You have the right to refuse treatment at any time. The above information is for educational purposes only. It is not medical advice or treatment on a case-by-case basis. Before taking any medicine, talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist to find out if it is safe and effective for you.
Always consult your doctor to ensure that the information on this page applies to your individual situation.