During the month of April, the American Heart Association wants you to commit to getting – and staying – more active. That’s because April is Move More Month.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that only about one in three Americans get the amount of recommended physical activity (about 30 minutes per day) in a given week. Combine that with the fact that most Americans eat far fewer vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and dairy products than they should and it’s no wonder that a recent report projects that by 2030 at least 50% of all adults will be obese.
A healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise can have many long-term health benefits including preventing heart disease, cancer, and stroke. When you get out and Move More you can control your weight, condition your heart and lungs, improve your sleep, reduce your stress and increase your energy.
There are some things that you can do to get on the right track with your exercise routine. Don’t get overwhelmed. Start with something small and make just one change to your routine at a time. Plan out what you are going to do so that you are prepared, and don’t be discouraged if you slip up from time to time. The important thing is to get started and maintain your commitment to making a change.
For those who want to save time while they get healthy, consider biking or walking to work. Most people find up to five miles is a relatively easy bike or walk; six to ten miles is a bit harder, but still reasonable. U.S News and World Report offers some tips to get started turning your commute into a workout:
- Practice your commute on an off day from work so you can feel confident on the first day.
- Prepare all of your clothing and equipment in advance and try to think through everything you will need.
- Be safe and always have a back-up plan in case it starts to rain or get dark earlier than expected.