Part 2 - Making Physical Activity a Part of Your Life
Doing More . . . "I started taking a 45-minute water
aerobics class with a group of women from church. It's really
a lot of fun, and I am getting in shape. I started out going
2 days a week, and now my goal is to make it to all 3 classes
Congratulations! You are doing some regular physical activity
each week and are ready to do more. You may be feeling the
benefits of getting active, such as having fun with friends,
sleeping better, and getting toned. Are you looking for ways
to do more activities at a moderate level?
Below are 2 examples for adding more activity
You can do more by being active longer each time. Walking
for 30 minutes, 3 times a week? Go longer—walk for 50
minutes, 3 times a week.
You can do more, by being active more often. Are you biking
lightly 3 days a week for 25 minutes each time? Increase the
number of days you bike. Work up to riding 6 days a week for
25 minutes each time.
Tip: If you have not been this active in the past, work
your way up. In time, replace some moderate activities with
vigorous activities that take more effort.
Activities for stronger muscles and bones
Advice to follow: Adults should do activities to strengthen
muscles and bones at least 2 days a week.
Choose activities that work all the different parts of the
body—your legs, hips, back, chest, stomach, shoulders,
and arms. Exercises for each muscle group should be repeated
8 to 12 times per session.
Try some of these activities a couple of days a week:
- Heavy gardening (digging, shoveling)
- Lifting weights
- Push-ups on the floor or against the wall
- Working with resistance bands (long, wide rubber strips
- Tip: Some people like resistance bands because they find
them easy to use and put away when they are done. Others
prefer weights; you can use common grocery items, such as
bags of rice, vegetable or soup cans, or bottled water.
For best success . . . Team up with a friend. It will keep
you motivated and be more fun. Pick activities that you like
to do. Track your time and progress. It helps you stay on
course. Fill in these forms to help set your activity goals.
Before you know it, you'll be able to do at least 2 hours
and 30 minutes of activities at a moderate level each week.
Add in more strength-building activities over time. For example,
you can do sit-ups or push-ups.
Shaping up . . . "My son and I play in a baseball league
twice a week. On the days we play, I sleep much better at
night. This makes me want to do more on other days. My son
wants to lift weights together, and so we got some weights
and work out in the basement."
Planning your activity for the week
Physical activity experts say that spreading aerobic activity
out over at least 3 days a week is best. Also, do each activity
for at least 10 minutes at a time. There are many ways to
fit in 2 hours and 30 minutes a week. For example, you can
do 30 minutes of aerobic activity each day, for 5 days.
On the other 2 days, do activities to keep your muscles strong.
Find ways that work well for you.
Want to learn more about how to add physical activity to
- Join a fitness group.
- Talk to your health care provider about good activities
- Speak to the work site wellness coordinator at your job.
- Tip: To learn how to avoid injury