Did you know that in April we celebrate Move More Month? National Move More Month was created by the American Heart Association with the simple goal of getting everyone up and moving more! This month is aimed at getting more people to work up to 10,000 steps/day and/or get in 20-minutes of aerobic exercise every day. People who regularly exercise have lower risk of cardiovascular disease (heart disease, stroke, hypertension) and are better able to keep blood sugars in goal. Starting an exercise program may seem daunting if you have been inactive for a while or have not engaged in an exercise program before. Stress less, you can start with just some simple steps.
Start by getting in more activity in your daily routine. Dance while you cook your meal or do your household chores. Park a spot further away from the store door than you normally do. Take the stairs when possible. Just getting in a little bit more movement in our days helps to meet that 10,000-step goal.
10,000 steps may seem like a lot, so start small. If you have an activity tracker you can average your steps over a few days to a week and then work on adding 100 or 200 more steps in your day. Every week add another 50 or 100 steps to that as you slowly work towards 10,000 steps.
If you do not have an activity tracker, you can track how far you walk around your neighborhood. Go one more block than you normally would, go out for 5 minutes longer than you, go for a walk every day. Figure out what makes the most sense for you and go for it!
Take active breaks. Most of us sit for longer periods of time than we should. Schedule a 5 to 15-minute break a few times in your day to get up for your chair to stretch and move around.
Making stretching a part of your morning or evening routine or both! Stretching is a great way to slow down and relax at the end of the day or a great way to start moving our bodies when we wake up. Try 5 – 15-minutes of stretching each day.
Go outside and enjoy the sunshine. You can plan an active day with a friend. Meet up to go on a walk and talk.
These tips are just a few of many to help you get started with moving more. Find a friend or two to join you in this month’s challenge. You will help each other be accountable to making movement an important part of you day!