Everyday Activities & Fitness
4 AnswersDr. Thomas Plut, MD , Sports Medicine, answeredTo avoid hurting yourself while shoveling the driveway:
- Dress warmly. The nose, ears, hands and feet need extra protection from the cold. The National Safety Council recommends wearing a turtleneck sweater, hat, scarf, face protection, mittens, wool socks and waterproof boots.
- Avoid caffeine or nicotine before or during shoveling. Both are stimulants that can increase your heart rate and cause blood vessels to constrict. Drink plenty of water instead to stay hydrated.
- Be kind to your heart. Cold weather is hard on the heart. Blood vessels narrow, raising blood pressure, making blood clots more likely. If you previously had a heart attack, have a history of heart disease, have high blood pressure or cholesterol, smoke or lead a sedentary lifestyle, speak to your doctor before shoveling. If you are shoveling and experience chest pain, lightheadedness, shortness of breath or other unusual feeling, seek emergency treatment right away.
- Warm up. As with any exercise, it's important to stretch your muscles before getting started. Cold, tight muscles are more likely to strain than warm, relaxed ones.
- Choose the right shovel. The shovel should have a curved handle, which enables you to keep a straighter back, and be an appropriate length. A plastic blade will generally be lighter than a metal one and easier on your back. Also consider a smaller blade. While you can't shovel as much, you avoid the risk of trying to pick up a too-heavy pile.
- Push the snow, don't lift. Pushing is easier on the back. Remember, wet snow can be heavy: one full shovel can weigh up to 25 pounds.
- Lift with your legs, not your back. If you have to lift the snow, stand with your legs apart, knees bent and back straight. Lift with your legs.Do not bend at the waist. Also, don't twist your waist or toss snow over your shoulder. Instead, scoop a small amount and walk to where you want to dump it.
- Pace yourself. Take frequent breaks to catch your breath and stretch your back, arms and legs.
- Don't work to the point of exhaustion. If you run out of breath, take a break. If you experience any type of pain, including tightness in your chest, stop immediately and seek assistance.
- Weigh your options. Consider buying a snow-blower or paying someone to clear the snow for you.
Please note, the information contained on this website is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider if you have questions regarding your medical condition or before starting any new treatment. In the event of a medical emergency always call 911 or proceed to your nearest emergency care facility.
2 AnswersToo many people view exercise as something that has to be endured, but staying fit doesn’t have to be a chore. You can get the benefits of exercise while having a great time by doing sports like swimming, tennis, touch football and soccer. It’s never too late to learn a new sport, and competition can put a lot of juice into your training.
14 AnswersNational Academy of Sports Medicine answeredStaying fit is about being active. The best way to improve your fitness is to increase your activity level; this can be accomplished many ways. One effective method is avoiding labor saving devices and methods of transportation, Things like taking the stairs instead of elevators, parking further way from work or from the store, walking to a co worker's desk instead of calling them, doing chores around the house can improve fitness. Finding ways to include physical activities into your spare time will also help you improve fitness. Joining recreational leagues like bowling and softball allow you to combine physical activity and social activities together. The more active you are the fitter you’ll be.
2 AnswersRealAge answered
Sometimes the activities that are unplanned and readily available are the most readily accepted. Your child may love to come home from school and ride a bike, run around with the dog, play baseball with neighborhood kids, ride scooters, or rollerblade around the block. After sitting all day long in school, it really doesn’t matter what he does, as long as he’s active.
Many parents I know use birthdays and holidays as a way to encourage their kids to stay active. Not only do they make scavenger hunts, obstacle courses and three-legged races part of the celebration, they also give fitness-minded gifts. I think it’s a great way to introduce an active hobby. For example, you could outfit your teenager for rock climbing by buying him the shoes required, a bag of chalk, and other climbing gear. Or how about a home version of the Dance Dance Revolution game to get your videogame lover stepping to the music? Perhaps a membership to a fitness center for your teen? Or a private lesson in the activity of choice? During summer or school vacations, check out sports camps or clinics. They can be sport-specific or can introduce several sports previously untried, kind of like a sport sampler.
From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.
Find out more about this book:Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children
2 AnswersDr. Mehmet Oz, MD , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answeredIf there are less than 3 flights of stairs to get to your destination, take them. Walking a flight of stairs is one of the best exercises you can do. It builds muscle mass, since you’re fighting gravity, and it burns calories.
This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com
6 AnswersDr. Kelly Traver , Internal Medicine, answered
Here are few tips for keeping physical activity in your routine despite your busy, hectic schedule.
- Choose activities you like. Have fun when you exercise. Don't create a workout that is so onerous that you dread doing it.
- Vary your activities over the years so you don't get bored. Don't feel that you have to stick to one and only one routine.
- Exercise with a buddy so you have someone who depends on you to show up, someone who will keep you accountable and can add some social pleasure while you work out.
- Join an exercise class. This provides some structure as well as expertise. You'll also benefit from the energy of those working out around you.
- If you like to exercise alone, keep it fun by listening to music or books on tape, or simply use it as downtime to reflect and think without interruptions.
- Incorporate exercises into your social routine. Meet a friend for a walk instead of for lunch.
- If you find it hard to carve out time for exercise because of a busy work schedule, do walk-and-talk meetings. You can start a new trend in your corporate culture. Have coworkers keep a pair of walking shoes at the office, and take a walk when you need to meet. This way, you can take care of work issues, get a breath of fresh air, and get your exercise in at the same time.
- Is there a time of day you need to check in with a loved one or catch up on some phone calls that don't require you to be sitting at your desk? Take your cell phone for a walk-get a headset and catch up on calls while you exercise.
- Set a future goal by enrolling in a 10k race or a similar event. Planned, future events like this can be good motivators to keep you on track.
- Have a friendly competition with your spouse, friends, or work colleagues. Challenge one another to exercise at least five days a week for half an hour. Mark it on a central calendar and have a reward at the end for all who are able to accomplish this goal.
4 AnswersDr. Maoshing Ni, PhD, LAc , Geriatric Medicine, answeredHere are some ways to make standing and moving a habit:
Take exercise breaks once every two hours. Think: squats, lunges, jumping rope and general stretching. You will get the added bonus of increased energy and productivity.
Turn every activity into an opportunity to move. Instead of resorting to the phone or e-mail message, walk over to the person. Chat with coworkers standing up. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Walk together. Get a membership at the local zoo or museum and go often with family or friends. Hike in a park or walk the family dog together.
4 AnswersNational Academy of Sports Medicine answered
Physical activity can be anything that increases heart rate or stresses normal body physiology. Several things done through the day can be considered physical activity. Here is just a small sample of potential daily tasks, which can count as physical activity:
- Climbing stairs
- Walking to the mailbox or around a store
- Yard work and/or gardening
- House cleaning
- Playing catch or outdoor games with the kids
5 AnswersCrystal Reeves, NASM Elite Trainer , Fitness, answered
When people think about increasing physical activity, many think about needing a gym to do so. It is much easier than you think! Just take a look at your daily activities. Do you take the elevator? If so, start using the stairs. When parking your car at stores; park at the back of the parking lot. Do NOT try to find the closest spot. :) If you are on the phone, try standing instead of sitting. You probably have a couple must see TV shows as well. At every commercial do a couple exercises…pushups, planks, bridges, jog in place, squats, jumping jacks, and the list goes on!
Just get up and move. What are you waiting for?