Americans don't get enough physical activity! 60% of Americans don't get enough physical activity; 25% of Americans are completely inactive. This should alarm all Americans. It is estimated that inactivity will cost the United States between $100-$150 billion (Chenoweth, 2001). Mammals were made to move! Humans are mammals. There isn't a diet for a sedentary lifestyle.
Start by adding activity slowly. Most people can get back into activity by walking briskly. This is a great way to begin to build up your endurance as you strive to become more physically active. Moderate-intensity activity is the equivalent of a brisk walk. A brisk walk is defined by walking 1 mile in 15 to 20 minutes.
Being active doesn't have to be expensive or extremely time consuming
- Get at least 30 minutes of activity daily - the total number of calories expended is the same whether you do 3 -10 minute bouts of activity or one -30 minute session.
- Be active most days of the week. Research shows that this amount of activity can provide significant health benefits for people who were previously sedentary.
- Build physical activity into your day by making things you already do more active, such as walking for 15 minutes before you begin work.
- Take a 10 – 15 minute stroll at the grocery store before you begin shopping, add strength training by filling up your cart and pushing it around the store.
- If walking at the grocery store makes you want to eat then head to the local hardware store and walk around these controlled temperature warehouses and walk, walk, walk. Try loading up a push cart with several sheets of plywood and push it around the store and you have added strength training at no cost to you.
- Substitute active strategies for sedentary activities, such as getting up from your desk and walking to talk to a colleague instead of using the phone or e-mail.
- Find the time to add physical activity, a 2-minute walk hourly walk can improve your self-esteem and get you moving in the right direction.
It is inevitability easier to maintain your health than regain your health.