We’re heading into the danger zone of couch “potato-ism”. Sedentary lifestyles are on the rise as we are all too busy and too tired to think about exercising.
A just released report card from ParticipACTION has given Canadians over the age of 18 a “D” for overall physical activity. The report found that just 16% of us get the recommended 2.5 hours each week.
“Physical activity is intrinsic to wellness. The link between physical activity and good health has been clinically and scientifically proven”. (Global Wellness Report 2019 ~ Move to Be Well).
We’re not alone. The “GW” report cited that all over the world adults are less motivated to exercise. Yet, we know that physical activity is more important now than ever. It helps to lessen our stress in this fast-paced, demanding work/life environment. Some of the main culprits are urbanization and technology. We’re always in a hurry these days and often choose an Uber, rather than walk. We order our groceries and clothes online instead of physically going out to shop.
The rising concern and costs associated with obesity and chronic disease have been linked to inactivity. The good news ~ this is a wake up call for our medical systems, employers, and us. We all know that a healthy lifestyle has to include physical activity. This acknowledgement has led trend forecasters to predict that we will see significant growth in the fitness industry in the next five years.
As with any growth industry, we can expect to be bombarded by advertising campaigns that encourage us to engage in many different active programs.
Body awareness is the key to choosing activities that best fit your body and mind. Joining a gym may not suit your lifestyle but remember, exercise can be done anytime, anywhere. We don’t have to do exercise we hate; any exercise is good exercise. Walking with friends in the many “green spaces” in our city or sneaking out for a brief walk at lunch or after dinner also counts. Stretching, yoga, dancing, playing with the kids are great ways to be active. Taking the stairs even part way up is a good workout for your legs, hips and lungs.
Here are some tips that will help keep you feeling your best when you start to get fit.
- Stay Hydrated. Drink fluids to keep your joints lubricated and your muscles supple.
- Try to eat a balanced diet including healthy proteins, fats and carbohydrates. These will provide your body with the nutrients needed to help build and maintain healthy muscles.
- Warm Up. It’s important to warm up before your workout especially at this time of year. Dress in layers and peel them off as your body temperature increases from the movement.
- Cool Down. Slow your walk or fitness program down towards the finish. Breathe deeply to let your heart & body temperature regulate.
- Listen to Your Body. If a movement is uncomfortable, change it until it feels natural. Don’t strain, and let yourself rest when you are tired.
- Make Massage Therapy part of your program to help keep your muscles well nourished, conditioned and vital so that you can reach your goals and enjoy being active.
The benefits ~ you’ll feel better and have more energy to do the things you love.