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Physical Activity: Don't Forget to Get More Out of the Little Things

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Regular physical activity is a staple of a healthy lifestyle. It’s not only an ingredient for weight-loss, but all health in general. From aiding with digestion to releasing endorphins, physical activity is an important factor in your wellness.

That doesn’t always make it easy. In fact, you’re among the norm if you sometimes struggle to get active. A lot of road blocks can get in your way: busy schedules, fatigue, illness, injury, or even just difficulty finding motivation.

The good news: We tend to make physical activity more complicated than it really is. ALL movement matters. If you don’t have time or energy for a 45-minute treadmill run, don’t throw in the towel for failing your day’s workout. Get more out of the little things.

Try Extra Activities Here and There:

  • Yard work (mowing, gardening, landscaping)
  • Chores (vacuuming, scrubbing)
  • Skipping the drive thru and walking into a businesses
  • Taking the stairs vs an elevator or escalator
  • Walking on your lunch break

Tips for Optimizing Physical Activity

Even small bursts of sporadic activity can make you healthier. Compared to your body when it’s inactive, sporadic activity burns more calories, improves cardiovascular health and makes you feel better overall. Try these tips to make the most of it:

  • Small Activities Add up. It’s recommended that you get 150 minutes or more of moderate activity each week. When you’re pressed for time, sporadic activities add up!
  • Increase the Intensity of the Activity. This will burn more calories and improve your aerobic activity. For example, if you’re parking your car further away from the grocery store to get more exercise, try parking in a place that forces you to walk at an incline.
  • Split Your Aerobic Workouts into Parts. For example, turn your 30-minute session into two 15-minute sessions or three 10-minute sessions. Studies show that splitting up workouts can burn more calories during recovery periods.
  • If You Can, Try Longer Cardio Workouts. This yields more calorie burn post-exercise. In one study where participants walked at 70 percent of maximal aerobic capacity for 60 minutes, they burned an average of 76 extra calories post-exercise. However, after 20 minutes of exercise, they only burned an extra 43 calories and after 40 minutes of exercise, they only burned an extra 49 calories.
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