Don’t Just Sit. Get Fit!

Did you know that sitting three hours a day is equivalent to smoking a pack and a half of cigarettes? According to Dr. James Levine, sitting might as well be the new smoking. Many experts agree that a sedentary lifestyle is deadly, and the best way to combat it is to get moving! May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, a special observance dedicated to renewing your commitment to leading a healthy and active lifestyle.          

Exercise of any kind and duration is beneficial for individuals of all ages. Being physically active during adolescence and childhood can help strengthen muscles and improve bone and heart health, while exercise in adulthood can help lower one’s risk for serious diseases like heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Staying active later in life can help older adults lower their risk of falls and can even help improve overall cognitive function and mental acuity.         

With so many wonderful health benefits at stake, the bottom line is if you’re sitting, you’re quitting! Physical fitness doesn’t have to happen within the confines of a gym for it to count and make a difference in your overall health and wellness. Harbin Clinic offers the following suggestions for creative ways to be active whether you’re at work, at home, or at play.  

Dine and dash

…to get your tennis shoes! Following a meal, avoid the urge to nap and instead lace up your walking shoes for a post-lunch or dinner stroll. Walking helps aid digestion and increases your metabolism so you can burn through the calories you consumed instead of feeling sluggish and tired.

Bust a move

Dancing is a fun cardio activity that gives you a full body workout – often without you even realizing it! Consider taking a Zumba or ballroom dancing class at Vitality Fitness Center, during which an average person can burn hundreds of calories per hour. Cleaning the house? Put on an upbeat tune and dance your way from room to room. It will not only help pass the time, but it will also help increase your heart rate and cause you to break a sweat.

Climb the stairs

Stuck at a desk all day? Rather than riding the elevator to your office, choose to take the stairs to get your heart pumping and your blood flowing. Your body must exert itself more to climb stairs than to simply walk on a flat surface, which helps burn calories, build muscle, and strengthen your heart and lungs.

Take a spin

…on your bicycle. Biking is a fun way to exercise and tone those legs with low impact on your joints. Plus, it is an activity that can be enjoyed during most seasons of the year and can even save you money in fuel costs if you ride your bike to work or while running errands instead of driving a car. Load up your bike and head down to Ridge Ferry Park in Rome to take advantage of 60 picturesque acres that are perfect for riders of all ages and skill levels.

Blaze a new trail

Hiking is perfect for building muscle and burning calories, especially if you choose a trail that has plenty of hills and varying degrees of elevation. Boost the burn by carrying a 10 to 15-pound daypack, which will torch up to 15 percent more calories while simultaneously strengthening your lower back muscles. Take on the trails at Berry College for a hike to get your body moving while enjoying the majestic beauty of the great outdoors.

Staying active is one of the best ways to live a healthy life, but exercising doesn’t have to be something you dread.