Our inaugural challenge is pretty simple, but extremely effective: 45 minutes of activity, six days per week.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends adults engage in more than 150 minutes of physical activity each week (at least 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week) -- but because this is a challenge and a finite time period, I wanted to up the ante and drive home the habit of physical activity.
Being active is a great thing - and one of the really great parts is that it can be done in many different ways. Not a runner? No problem. Walking, biking, swimming, gym workouts, playing with your children and more are all forms of physical activity.
Don't have 45 minutes of time to block out for exercise? Also, not a problem; small periods of activity add up - just 10 minutes here and there makes a big difference in the long run, according to the American Heart Association.
"The best thing about being active is that there are so many options," says Dr. John Hoctor, a chiropractor in Charlotte, NC. "The barriers to entry are low - everyone can find some time to include more activity in their day. The key is to think of small ways to get the body moving, which will add up to major health dividends."
"There are 1,440 minutes in a day," says Dr. Hoctor. "Taking 45 of them to do something active - especially if you involve your family and friends - is realistic, enjoyable, and promotes well-being."
As you're adding fitness into your day, you will find that part of succeeding in the challenge is learning to identify hidden opportunities for activity and taking advantage of them.
For example (assuming safety in your surroundings):
1. Get off public transportation several stops early and walk the rest of the way to your destination.2. In safe areas, park your car at the back of a parking lot to increase the walk to your destination.3. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. As you get started, ride the elevator to a midway floor, get off and climb the rest of the way. Add more floors over time.4. Track your steps. Pedometers are a cheap and easy way to determine and set baseline activity goals, and monitor progress.5. Walk to lunch several blocks from your home or office instead of always visiting the nearest establishment. 6. Allow time to walk to meetings. If they are nearby, walking can be faster and cheaper than various methods of transportation. 7. Play with your children. Remember those games you played growing up? They still count as activity now that you're an adult!8. Use leg power. If you're vacuuming or mowing the lawn, turn off the self-propel option on the machine and get pushin'!9. Exercise during TV commercials. Watching your favorite show? Every time there's a break, get up and do some simple calisthenics.
Remember, as you take the challenge, to let me know how you're doing via Twitter or Facebook. I'm looking forward to hearing from you over the next several weeks
About the author:Bobby DeMuro is the Founder of No Fizz America, a non-profit dedicated to health and fitness. He is also the founder FusionSouth, a sports conditioning firm. You can follow him on Twitter here or on Facebook here.
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