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Steps to get you moving
With all the things that you have to do each day, finding the time and motivation to get moving can be challenging. Here are 20 ideas for getting started and keeping it going:
- If you can't set aside one block of time, do short activities throughout the day, such as three 10-minute walks.
- Choose activities that are fun.
- Vary your activities, so you don't get bored. For instance, use different jogging, walking, or biking paths to vary your routine. Or bike one day, and jog the next.
- Join a hiking or running club.
- Wear a pedometer (a small tool worn on your belt) that counts the number of steps you take. Try to walk a little more each day or week.
- Create opportunities for activity, such as parking your car some distance from your destination and walking.
- Use stairs instead of the elevator.
- Walk or bike to work or to the store.
- Be physically active at lunch with coworkers, family, or friends.
- Join an office or community sports league.
- Take a break at work to stretch or take a quick walk.
- Don't let cold weather keep you on the couch! You can find activities to do in the winter, such as exercising to a workout video.
- If you have children, make time to play with them outside. Set a good example!
- Go dancing with your partner or friends.
- Turn activities into social occasions — for example, go to a movie after you and a friend work out.
- Plan active vacations that will keep you moving, such as taking tours and site-seeing on foot.
- Set specific, short-term goals, and reward yourself when you achieve them.
- Don't expect to notice body changes right away. It can take weeks or months before you notice some of the changes from being physically active, such as weight loss.
- If you live in a neighborhood where it is unsafe to be physically active outdoors, contact your local recreational center or church to see if they have any indoor activity programs that you can join.
- Make physical activity a regular part of your day, so that it becomes a habit — and perhaps something you look forward to!
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More information on Steps to get you moving
Explore other publications and websites
Be Active Your Way: A Guide for Adults - This physical activity guidebook helps you get moving, commit to physical activity, and make it a lifelong habit.
The Exercise Habit (Copyright © American Academy of Family Physicians) - This publication provides information on how you can start an exercise program and how to make it a habit. It also provides information about the different types of exercise and the benefits of physical activity.
Physical Activity for Everyone: Overcoming Barriers to Physical Activity - This page helps you understand common barriers to physical activity and gives suggestions on how to overcome them.
The President's Challenge - No matter what your fitness level, the President's Challenge can help you improve it. On this site you can learn how to create an active lifestyle, keep a log of your physical activity, and use online fitness calculators to track your progress in achieving your fitness goals.
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Content last updated June 17, 2008.
Resources last updated June 17, 2008.
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