We all know regular activity has positive health effects. So why is it so hard to change your routine come the New Year?
Regular physical activity can help lower blood pressure, control cholesterol and improve immune function. It’s also a key component when trying to maintain weight loss. The more calories you burn throughout the day, the better positioned you are to keep that weight off. On top of that, AICR recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate activity daily to help lower cancer risk.
To help you make real, sustainable changes, here are 5 fitness tips you’ll stick with.
1. Take Small Steps
Making smaller (and more realistic) physical activity changes that you can stick will lead to long-term health improvement and reduction in cancer risk. Start by adding 100 more steps daily for one week, so by the end of the week you’ll have added 700 steps daily. Ten steps here and there, throughout the day, will add up and the specific, measurable number will give you something to strive for every day.
2. Schedule It In
Make fitness a priority by scheduling 30-minute appointments with yourself 3-4 times a week. These can be as simple as walking around the block or attending a group fitness class. Putting a time and place on your workouts can help add accountability and make you less likely to bail.
3. Muscle Up
Work strength training into your weekly fitness routine to help improve flexibility, balance and endurance. And strength training builds muscle to help you burn a few more calories. Try these easy resistance band exercises.
4. Give Yourself a Break
The research on sedentary behavior and cancer risk continues to build, but evidence points to inactivity as a barrier to good health. Plus, studies have linked each two-hour per day increase in sitting time to a detectable increased risk of cancers of the colon and endometrium.
Every hour, give yourself a break from sitting by walking to the break room, chatting with a coworker or doing some active chores.
5. Track It
Whether you’re looking to take more steps, build muscle or do something at the gym every day, there’s an app that can help you track your progress. Pedometers and fitness trackers can help you see how you move every day and visualize obstacles that stand in your way like weather and long work days. Once you understand what’s keeping you from your goals, you’ll be more equipped to power through and meet them.