Being physically active is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health. Physical activity has immediate health benefits, such as better sleep and reduced stress and anxiety. Regular physical activity can decrease depression and reduce your risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.
The good news is that every little bit of physical activity can provide health benefits. The key is to move more and sit less throughout the day. And there are many ways to be active wherever you live.
Five ways to be active at home:
- Find an exercise video online. Search the internet for exercise videos that are led by certified exercise leaders or trainers and match your interests, abilities, and fitness level. You can find videos to help you do aerobics, dance, stretch, and build strength. No gym or special equipment needed. You can also find videos created especially for kids and older adults.
- Work out with items you have around the house. Use full water bottles, canned goods, or other items for strength training if you don’t have weights around the house. Stretch with a towel. Walking or running up and down stairs (that are clear of obstacles to avoid tripping) can be a great workout.
- Make the most of screen time. While watching TV, your family can do jumping jacks during commercials or move along with the characters in a show or movie by walking or running in place.
- Family playtime is a great time to work in physical activity. Hoola-hoops, hopscotch, jumping jacks, and jump ropes are a great way for the whole family to get active. Games like Hide and Seek, playing catch, and dancing can keep everyone moving and having fun.
- Housework and yard work count! Vacuuming, sweeping, gardening, and cleaning inside and outside where you live all count towards your physical activity goal. And you’ll knock out some items on your to-do list while gaining health benefits.
Try to keep moving because any amount of physical activity that gets your heart beating faster can improve your health. For even greater health benefits, experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week which can be broken into smaller amounts such as about 25 minutes a day every day.