All you need in order to reduce your risk of heart disease is thirty minutes, five times a week — and it doesn’t have to be consecutive. It just has to add up.
Try these seven simple cost-free ways to get moving today.
Run or power walk like you’re late.
You know the mad dash. You’re 10 minutes behind schedule. You slept through your alarm. Your flight is boarding now. Think of how fast your heart beats as you run and when you finally make it. So, even the days you’re on time, run or power walk to the train/plane/bus/work anyway.
You can also lower the bar to include less important destinations. Park far away and run from your car to the store, for example.
Play with the kids.
They don’t have to be your kids — just a kid. Beat an 8-year-old in a sprint down the street. Race your niece from the car to the house. Kick your legs back and forth on the swings. Jump rope. Join in while the little ones shoot hoops, even if you don’t know how. As a kid, we didn’t go to the gym to stay fit, we played. So go play. And, don’t come home until the streetlights come on.
…or, to a lively wedding …or, a good dancing lounge. Take your pick. Dare yourself to stay on your feet all night, even if you have to two-step the whole time. Just one hour of low-impact dancing can burn 500 calories. Keep in mind that if you down three fruity drinks in that same hour, while you’ll still get the heart pumping, you might negate your calorie burn.
Take the stairs.
Vow to avoid elevators, escalators or those moving airport walkways for an entire month; longer if you can. Yes, that means attacking stairs everywhere — your apartment building, office building, doctor’s office, or your favorite shopping mall. If you’re on an outrageously high floor, say, the 45th, do as many as you can. Challenge yourself to make it to one higher floor every week.