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Are You Becoming a Couch Potato? This can save you…

Are You Becoming a Couch Potato? This can save you…

February 26, 2020

The long winter months have taken their toll on our bodies. With cold and rainy weather keeping us indoors, our bodies have become sedentary and our physiques a bit flabby.  What are some of the safest ways to incorporate more movement and get moving again? The American College of Cardiology tells us that “physical activity is one of the key lifestyle risk factors that warrants attention. Lack of regular exercise and excess sedentary behavior are clearly associated with cardiovascular risk and mortality in both men and women.” Even modest incremental increases in physical activity can benefit our lives in multiple ways. But how do you get started? Here are some simple tips to save you from the couch potato lifestyle.

  • Walk every day. Walking is the best cardiovascular exercise for beginners and for those who have been sedentary. If you don’t have a gym membership or treadmill at home, start outside, and start small. Get your body used to moving by walking in place or by walking around the block. Start to move and schedule it into each day.
  • Park far away from the stores where you shop, walk your cart all the way back to the door after. This adds up to several hundred extra steps each time.
  • Visit a park with trails nearby to combine your exercise with a nature walk.
  • Go to the local indoor mall.  Be sure to walk the length of the mall once or twice before going into any of the stores.
  • Choose to take the stairs. We have become so used to pushing the elevator button and waiting for a ride that we are missing out on one of the greatest ways to increase our heart rate and work our muscles. Don’t start with 10 flights at once, but start with one or two before catching a ride up. If you live in a building with stairs, utilize them as your personal ‘Stair Stepper’.
  • Carry shopping bags into the house one at a time. Whether its groceries or bags from the mall, carry them into your home one at a time to increase your steps.
  • Add Strength Training. You may have exercise equipment already available where you live or in a community center nearby where you can add focused strength exercises to your schedule a couple times a week.  If not, light weights or stretch bands can be purchased to incorporate strength exercises at home.
  • Multitask while watching T.V.  Research shows that the more you sit, the greater your waist circumference and the higher risk of disease. So march in place or allow yourself to watch only when you incorporate periods of movement.
  • Walk 500 steps before bedtime.  When time flies by and you realize you haven’t incorporated as much movement into your day as you wanted, it’s not too late.  Walk before you go to bed. 500 steps doesn’t take more than a few minutes and you can end the day on a positive note, both physically and emotionally knowing that you made your health a priority.

The Couch Potato Syndrome is common for all of us as winter ends. Equally important as adding exercise to our daily routine, is making sure our physician has given us the green light to exercise.  Check with your health-care provider before beginning an exercise program for the first time or if you have not exercised in a long time, or if you have any chronic health issues. It is better to be safe with a doctor’s approval before moving our bodies in new ways.

There are many ways to incorporate movement every day at CRISTA Senior Living. Offering a vibrant activities program along with multiple opportunities to remain active, we also connect & celebrate generations through grace, compassion & inspiration. You can find out more at www.cristaseniorliving.org or call today to schedule a visit.