By Amy Inman-Felton RDN

Health and Wellness Contributing Editor

3 Minute Read

Get Physical  – Every Day

The best stress buster during the holiday season (and year-round) is physical activity. 

Moving – every day! 

Moderate to high-intensity activities like walking, jogging, dancing, swimming, hiking, and cycling are proven mood boosters increasing feel-good endorphins helping reduce anxiety, a depressed mood, and fatigue. 

Think about your skin and the glow you have after a great sweat session. Being active increases self-esteem, confidence, social connections and improves sleep. 

Exercise outside with mother nature and you amp up these benefits. 

If you’re not sold, consider all the numerous health benefits exercise has for our heart, lungs, bones, reduces blood pressure and blood sugar levels, reduces cancer risk and controls weight. 

Wow! If you could bundle exercise in a pill, it would be the miracle drug for many of our health issues in my opinion. 

Are you getting enough

Let’s do the math, current guidelines recommend 150 to 300 minutes each week (averaging 30 to 45 minutes daily) of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for adults.1,2 Strength-training two days a week is also recommended.1 

Most of us require the higher end to maintain weight goals especially as we reach into our forty’s, the fifties and beyond.  The National Weight Control Registry participants, 80% who are women, exercise 60 minutes daily to maintain their weight loss.    

What to do if you’re not committed to moving yet or need to up your daily minutes?  Try these suggestions:

  1. Do activities you love.
  2. Find someone (or social group) to work out with (it keeps you and them motivated).
  3. Increase minutes by breaking up activity sessions throughout the day- you don’t have to increase all at one time.  Move 20 minutes in morning, 10 minutes at lunch, and  20 minutes in the evening. 
  4. Mix it up – do a variety of workouts.  This protects your body, keeps your muscle and metabolism challenged and reduces burn-out. Try yoga, pilates, walking your dog, spinning, Barre classes, or high-intensity interval training (HITT) classes. 
  5. Strength-train (at least 2 days each week) – this can be part of cardio classes like my favorite FUSION FITNESS classes.  
  6. Schedule your work out as a mandatory meeting – put it on your calendar! 
  7. Track your minutes and progress  on your favorite mobile device. 
  8. Try challenging and new activities – although hard a first,  you’ll improve your strength and endurance – nothing feels better than reaching new goals.

What are your favorite ways to move? Do you like exercising in a group or by yourself? Let us know and comment below!