Ways to Move More in Everyday Life
By: Jessica Ruff, MD, MA, MSPH • Posted on May 03, 2023
With 60% of Americans saying they sometimes feel too busy to enjoy life, it’s no surprise that moving more can be difficult. We still only get 24 hours in a day no matter how much we have to accomplish. But new research indicates that sedentary behavior proportionally increases one's risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Not only do you reduce your risk of illness when you increase physical activity, you also improve your bone and muscle strength, reduce feelings of anxiety, enhance your sleep quality – and your immune system might even get a boost!
How Much to Move
- The Physical Activity Guideline for Americans (2nd Ed) recommends that adults ages 18-64 should get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity and two days of strength training a week.
- If you’re age 65 and older, then add activities to improve balance to your activity regimen.
150 mins of physical activity a week may sound like a lot, but this can be divided into thirty minutes five days a week or fifty minutes three days a week. Using a fitness tracker is a great way to monitor reaching your goals and using one is associated with increased physical activity.
Ways to Move
The word exercise can trigger bad feelings for many, so focus on increasing movement and reducing your sitting/sedentary time. Keep in mind that any activity is better than none. We all have to start someplace, and the possibilities are endless!
Tips to move more:
- Get up and dance
- Spend 5-10 mins doing housework
- Grab a friend and take a walk
- Park at the back of the parking lot
- Walk up and down every aisle of the grocery store
Use the CDC Physical Activity Planner to create your personalized plan.
Barriers to Moving More
As I stated at the beginning, it’s hard to move more but there are ways to overcome just about any physical activity obstacle.
Lack of Time
- Add exercise in small, planned bouts like a ten minute walking break between meetings.
- Create a list of activities that are not weather dependent. Stair climbing, dancing, and jumping rope are a few.
Lack of Motivation
- Invite others to join you for an exercise activity and hold each other accountable for completing your task.
Fear of Injury
- Focus on things you know how to do safely and add a warm up and cool down to your routine.
- Physical activity doesn’t require a fancy gym or equipment - many can be done in your own home. Look into community offerings which often have inexpensive or income based options.
To get help developing a physical activity plan, please contact the Department of Wellness and Preventive Medicine at (216) 448-4325 or CILM@ccf.org or visit clevelandclinic.org to schedule an appointment with a physician.
Be Strong, Be Healthy, Be in Charge!
-Jessica Ruff, MD, MA, MSPH
About Jessica Ruff, MD, MA, MSPH
Dr. Jessica Ruff focuses on nutrition, exercise, stress management, sleep, and social connection to help patients make healthy lifestyle changes to combat chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity.
Dr. Ruff completed her undergraduate degree at Miami University, and earned her medical degree from Case Western University. Her post-graduate training included a Master’s Degree in Bioethics and a certificate in Health Informatics from Case Western and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Meharry Medical College.
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