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question

How can I add more physical activity to my life?

RealAge
RealAge
answer

As you grow stronger, keep pushing yourself. However, never increase your physical activity by more than about 10% a week. 

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
answer
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans call for 30 to 90 minutes of physical activity every day, depending on your body's needs.

Here are a few ways you can incorporate physical activity into your regular day:
  • Skip the drive-through car wash and wash the car yourself.
  • Stretch your green thumb by gardening. For a double benefit, grow fruit, vegetables and herbs that you can eat or preserve.
  • If possible, ride your bike to work or to run errands.
  • Go on active family vacations or weekend outings.
Like good eating habits, regular physical activity can be part of everyone's healthful lifestyle.
National Academy of Sports Medicine
National Academy of Sports Medicine
answer

Adding physical activity to your life does not have to be difficult. Surrounding yourself with social situations and social support to physical activity will help. Things like joining a walking club or a group exercise class or walking with your friends and family after work are ways to combine physical activity and social aspects together. Throughout your day there are ways to increase physical activity as well. By parking further away from things and walking to places, using stairs instead of elevators, taking the longer walking route to things all can help you be active. Adding social support by telling your friends and family you want to become more active and asking them to help in support of your goal will help you in being more active. If you combine social support, with an environment that makes physical activity more possible with your desire to be more active you will achieve your goal.
Many employers now encourage walking meetings, so instead of sitting at a desk, why not discuss work initiatives during a walk. Instead of sitting in a lunch room, or at your desk, eat lunch then go for a walk for the remainder of your work hours. 
During the evening hours, instead of watching TV from the couch, do sit-ups and push-ups during commercial breaks. During the show, do lunges and squats to work the legs. If you do this through 2 TV shows you will be getting a good workout. Bottom line, you can always find ways to add exercise in to activities of daily living.  

Brian Sutton , NASM Expert
Brian Sutton , NASM Expert on behalf of National Academy of Sports Medicine
Sports Medicine
answer

Participate in “accidental exercise”. Accidental exercise is any physical activity performed throughout the day that's not necessarily formal exercise, such as taking the stairs, walking the dog, parking in the furthest parking spot, pacing while talking on the phone, and performing household chores. These activities add up and help burn extra calories throughout the day. Moreover, when engaging in these activities you won’t have the urge to eat. Oftentimes people eat junk food (and subsequently consume unnecessary calories) because of boredom or stress, not necessarily hunger.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.