By Laura Stevenson, PSP Ottawa Fitness –
The month of May is all about moving and being physically active! But being active doesn’t mean you need to sweat profusely or have access to a gym or even any equipment for that matter. It can be as simple as taking a short walk outside after a meal, taking the stairs to go to the washroom a few floors up at work, having a “walking meeting” instead of sitting in a conference room, parking far away from the grocery store entrance, and many more.
These lighter physical activities actually add up quickly and offer you those benefits you are looking for in being active. You’ll notice a difference with your increased energy levels and muscle tone, your enhanced mood and self-esteem, and your improved sleep.
As a fitness expert, I am a strong believer in the importance of monitoring your physical activity with tools such as pedometers or fitness-tracking watches. They help you quantify the amount of physical activity you achieve in a day as well as set goals for yourself. These fitness gadgets can also show you how your efforts, no matter how small, accumulate at the end of the day and get you that much closer to your goal.
We often hear we need to reach 10,000 steps a day. However, it’s important to calculate our personal starting point before trying to reach 10,000 steps in order to establish realistic goals and expectations. For example, if your starting point is 3,000 steps/day, we would suggest adding 1,000 steps/day the first week and then adding another 1,000 steps the following week to give your body and mind time to adjust to this new lifestyle. Consistent progress is key.
As you can see, being physically active doesn’t need to be overly complicated. You simply need to find ways to include walking into your daily habits without going too far out of your comfort zone, thus ensuring you reap all the benefits of being physically active! Join us every month of May for our Pedometer Challenge to help you reach your goals in a fun and motivating way!
Photo courtesy of CAFConnection
This post is also available in: Français (French)