Active Lifestyle

Active lifestyle sets the stage for good health. Active lifestyle or active living is a way of life that integrates physical activity into your everyday routines, such as walking to the store or biking to work. Researches have time and again proved and emphasized that an active lifestyle can be the key to building and maintaining healthy bones, muscles and joints; controlling weight; increasing self esteem; reducing stress; and promoting social well being in both children and adults.

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that physical activity decreases the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, colon cancer, diabetes, breast cancer, osteoporosis, obesity and cardiovascular disease and helps in the treatment of high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis and obesity.

There are many ways that busy mums, families, young people, office workers and older adults can build physical activity into their lives. Being physically active is easier than you think, especially if you make activity part of your daily routine.

Daily chores such as shopping, cooking or housework don’t count towards your activity target. This is because your body doesn’t work hard enough to get your heart rate up.

Tips for being active

  • Pick activities you like and that fit easily into your daily routine.
  • Work out what time is best for you to exercise and stick to it.
  • Be active with friends and family to keep you motivated.
  • Reduce the amount of time you sit or lie down during the day.

Active lifestyle tips for busy mums

  • Set a time for physical activity and stick to it. You’re more likely to find time to be active if you do it at the same time and on the same days each week.
  • Split activity up throughout the day. You can achieve your target in bouts of 10 minutes or more. Try these 10-minute workouts.
  • Walk your children to and from school. This will also help them develop a pattern of physical activity.
  • Be active with your child. Take them to the swimming pool or play in the garden or park. Watch a video on exercising with kids.
  • Take up running. Running is an effective and straightforward way of exercising. If you’re just starting, try our popular Couch to 5K running plan.
  • Get a free personal trainer with Strength and Flex, a five-week exercise workout plan to increase strength and flexibility.
  • Join a child-friendly gym. Find a fitness class or club that allows children in or that offers childcare during a workout.
  • Set up a buggy group with other mums and go on long walks with the children.
  • Exercise DVDs allow you to get a good workout without having to leave your house. Exercising at home is easy to fit around your daily routine.
  • Exercise during your lunch break. Your office may have a gym, or you may have access to a nearby swimming pool or squash courts.
  • Cycle or walk part, if not all, of your journey to work. Get off one bus or tube stop before your final destination. Find out more about cycling for beginners.

Active lifestyle tips for families

  • Children don’t need to get their daily target of 60 active minutes all in one go. They can do them in chunks of 10 minutes throughout the day.
  • Try something new. If you’re not sure what activities you’d like to try as a family, use the What’s your sport? tool to find out what you’re best suited to.
  • If parents are physically active, their children are likely to follow their example and to be active too.
  • Instead of watching TV, encourage your child to find fun activities to do on their own or with friends, such as playing chase or riding bikes.
  • Let your kids help decide what to do. Children are more likely to participate in something if they’re involved in picking it.
  • When it comes to play, children should do what they enjoy most. Running around, having fun with other kids and burning off energy are great ways of getting some (or all) of their target 60 minutes of activity a day.
  • Walking is a fun and easy way for children to get active while spending time with you and their friends. Get more walking tips in Walking for health.
  • Have a disco in your lounge with some of your CDs. All you need are some great tunes and you and your children can have fun dancing anywhere. Read Dancing for fitness.
  • Have a splash. Whether doing lengths of the pool or having a good splash about, children love playing in water. Find out more in Swimming for health.
  • Cycling is a great alternative to the car or bus. You don’t even need to have somewhere to get to, just taking the kids out for a bike ride is a fun activity.

Active lifestyle tips for young people

  • Try something new. If you’re not sure what activities you’d like, use the What’s your sport? tool to find out which sport or activity you’re best suited to.
  • Take up running. Running is an effective and straightforward way of exercising. If you’re just starting, try our popular Couch to 5K running plan.
  • Get into shape with Strength and Flex, a five-week exercise plan to increase your strength and flexibility.
  • Walk more: to school, to visit friends, to the shops, or other places in your neighbourhood. For health benefits, aim to do 10,000 steps a day.
  • Get your mates involved. You’re more likely to keep active if you have fun and other people to enjoy yourself with.
  • Ask your parents if you can go to the gym with them or if there’s a local community centre where you can exercise.
  • Create a new routine where you walk or run every day when you get home from school or before dinner.
  • If you don’t want to exercise outside on your own, buddy up with a friend or use an exercise DVD in your bedroom.
  • Dance in front of the TV or play some CDs. All you need are some great tunes and you can have fun dancing anywhere and burn calories at the same time.
  • Do some house chores. Although light tasks such as taking out the rubbish won’t raise your heart rate, some heavy gardening or washing the car will count towards your daily activity target.

Active lifestyle tips for office workers

  • Cycle or walk part, if not all, of your journey to work. Get off one bus or tube stop before your final destination. Find out more about cycling for beginners.
  • If you need to drive, try to park further away from your office and walk the rest of the way.
  • Discuss project ideas with a colleague at work while taking a walk.
  • Stand while talking on the telephone.
  • Walk over to someone’s desk at work rather than calling them on the phone.
  • Take the stairs instead of the lift, or get out of the lift a few floors early then use the stairs.
  • Walk up escalators or travelators rather than standing still.
  • Go for a brisk walk during your lunch break. Use a pedometer and keep track of how many steps you take.
  • Try to find different walks, and alternate between them during the week. Build up gradually to walking 10,000 steps a day.
  • Exercise before or after work, or during your lunch break. Your office may have a gym, or you may have access to a nearby swimming pool or squash courts.

Active lifestyle tips for older adults (65 years and over)

  • Be active around the house. Cooking, housework and walking while you’re on the phone can help to keep you mobile, although these activities won’t count towards your weekly activity target.
  • Improve your strength, balance and flexibility with our step-by-step exercise guides for older people, which include a section on sitting exercises.
  • Get into shape with Strength and Flex, a five-week exercise plan to increase strength and flexibility for beginners.
  • Conservation groups can be a great way to get involved in improving your local environment and being active at the same time. Watch a video about Green Gyms.
  • Try something new. If you’re not sure what activities you’d like, use the What’s your sport? tool to find out which sport or activity you’re best suited to.
  • Fast walking is the easiest way to increase your activity levels. Find a friend to walk with or join a walking group for some extra motivation. Read about Walking for health.
  • Senior sports or fitness classes keep you motivated and can be fun, relieve stress and help you meet friends.
  • Heavy gardening, including pushing, bending, squatting, carrying, digging and shovelling, can provide a good workout.
  • Swimming, aqua-aerobics and working out in water are ideal for older adults because water reduces stress and strain on the body’s joints. Find out more in Swimming for fitness.
  • Yoga is suitable for all ability levels. It combines a series of poses with breathing and is good for building strength, flexibility and balance. Find out more about yoga.
  • Tai chi is an ancient Chinese art that builds strength, flexibility and balance through slow and controlled movements. Find out more about tai chi.
  • Pilates focuses on stretching and strengthening the whole body to improve balance, muscle-strength, flexibility and posture. Find out more about pilates.
  • Take up running. Running is an effective and straightforward way of exercising. If you’re just starting, try our popular Couch to 5K running plan.

Active lifestyle – psychological benefits of living a healthy lifestyle

Increased Energy Levels

Feeling more energetic means more productivity in your day-to-day living. When your energy levels increase you will notice that you accomplish much more in your work life, as well as your personal life, which in turn will leave you with a greater sense of satisfaction knowing that you worked a very productive day.

Reduced feeling of depression

In many cases, a depressive mood can lead to overeating as an alternative to relieve the feeling which in turn can be more devastating cause as you put on weight, you feel more depressed and it becomes a vicious circle which makes you look fat and depressed. But everyday exercising can accomplish a healthy body and also exercising elevates hormone levels in the body that help regulate your mood.

A Higher Self-esteem

A fitness regimen offers many psychological benefits, but the biggest payoff comes from an improved self image. Achieving fitness goals leads to self confidence, improved body image, self awareness and esteem. Most people overeat and gain weight because they are upset with the way they look. Many figure that if they already are fat, then being a little fatter won’t matter much. However, if you stick to a healthy diet and exercise regimen that helps you lose weight and keep it off you will find that as your weight drops you will like yourself a lot more. Not just because you look better, but because of the hard work and dedication you put toward reaching your goals.

Active lifestyle – physical benefits of an active lifestyle

Increased Fitness

Fitness results in better coordination of muscles, and an increase in strength, flexibility and stamina. While improvements in these areas certainly help athletic performance, they also help reduce the risk of injury.

Better Posture

Poor posture is a major cause of injury, and often leads to big problems later in life. Exercising in proper form promotes better posture, as well as the strengthening and stretching of muscles that help you stand up straight.

Fat loss

Aerobic and strengthening exercises can result is weight loss when combined with a calorie-reducing diet. Without exercise, dieting can cause the loss of muscle as well as fat. An aerobic exercise regimen burns fat, while building muscle. This may mean less dramatic weight loss, but since muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue, the result is longer lasting.

Improved Heart Health

Though the symptoms of heart disease may not surface until middle age, the onset of disease can start taking place as early as the teens. Exercising for 20 to 30 minutes three times a week can reverse years of cardioneglect. In fact, consistent, regular exercise actually strengthens the heart, resulting in more blood and oxygen flow throughout the body.

Intellectual Gains

The reasons aren’t entirely understood, but several theories promote the effects of discipline and self confidence gained through working out. Fitness also helps the immune system, meaning better work performance, and fewer missed days of work and school. Exercise increases blood and oxygen flow throughout the body, including the brain. This may explain why studies have shown that those who exercise react more quickly to stimulus than their less fit counterparts, pointing to a possible link between motor and intellectual skills.

The importance of a healthy active lifestyle in the prevention of disease is widely understood and most people know that lifestyle changes and choices can be critical in determining their health and lifespan. Living your life in a healthier manner will help create a strong body, strong mind and higher self-esteem.

You need to have regular physical activity, eat lots of fruits and vegetables and a complete balanced diet. Nutrition is a key factor in the living of a healthy lifestyle. You need to look at what you eat now, lower your calories, make healthier choices (fruits and vegetables) and get educated about leading a healthy lifestyle.

Enjoy active lifestyle.

Dr. Anil Singhal, MD (Homeo)

Active Lifestyle
by ( Author at Dr. Anil Singhal MD (Homeo) )
Posted on at 2:56 pm.
Last updated on July 2nd, 2014 at 11:00 pm.
Find more from Dr. Anil Singhal's Blog on: Lifestyle

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