Sun.Star Pampanga - - PERSPECTIVE! -

When life gets hec­tic, our health is one of the first ar­eas to suf­fer. Maybe you tell your­self “there’s just no time,” and be­fore you know it, you’ve gained weight, be­come stressed out, and feel like you’ve lost all con­trol over your health.

Here are some cre­ative ways to keep mov­ing through­out the day and get the benefits of an ac­tive life­style with­out set­ting aside time to hit the gym.

1. Take a lunch break. Stud­ies have shown that sit­ting for pro­longed pe­ri­ods of time can con­trib­ute to meta­bolic syn­drome, heart at­tacks, di­a­betes, obesity and even can­cer. Desk jobs can be detri­men­tal to your health in these cases. Take reg­u­lar breaks to stretch and walk around the of­fice, and go on a walk af­ter eat­ing lunch to help with di­ges­tion. A light stroll af­ter your meal will also help you clear your mind for bet­ter f ocus.

2. Bike or walk to work. If you nor­mally drive or take pub­lic trans­porta­tion to work, bike or walk in­stead. By get­ting in some ac­tiv­ity be­fore you get to work, you’ll jump­start your me­tab­o­lism and have more en­ergy and a sharper fo­cus to get tasks done.

3. Do short bursts of ac­tiv­ity. You don’t have to work­out for 30 min­utes in one shot to reap the benefits of ex­er­cise. Stud­ies have shown that short bursts of ac­tiv­ity through­out the day can be just as ef­fec­tive. Take a break ev­ery hour or two and do a set of pushups, crunches, squats or stair climb­ing for a few min­utes to get your me­tab­o­lism revved up again.

4. Clean house. Choos­ing to do ev­ery­day chores such as clean­ing the house, mow­ing the lawn, or walk­ing the dog in­stead of hir­ing a dog­walker is a great way to stay ac­tive through­out the day.

5. Take the stairs. In­stead of tak­ing the el­e­va­tor or es­ca­la­tor, hit the stairs. You’ll burn calo­ries and tone at the same time.

6. Park far­ther away. In­stead of look­ing for the clos­est park­ing spot, opt for one that’s far­ther away. Not only will you find a park­ing place much quicker, but you’ll also get in some brisk walk­ing that will help you stay in shape.

7. Dance. There’s a rea­son that Zumba and Bol­ly­wood-style fit­ness classes have sky­rock­eted in pop­u­lar­ity: They’re fun! When hang­ing out with friends, find some place with good mu­sic and get out on the dance floor. You’ll be twist­ing and turn­ing, torch­ing calo­ries, and ton­ing your abs with­out even feel­ing like you’re work­ing out.

8. Ex­er­cise your mind! Stay­ing fit doesn’t only re­fer to tak­ing care of your body, but also your mind. Ex­cess stress can lead to weight gain and other se­ri­ous health con­di­tions. Tak­ing some time through­out the day to clear your head will help to reduce your stress levels. Find a quiet space and take 5 to 15 min­utes in the morn­ing and evening to close your eyes, clear your thoughts, and breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth.

9. What­ever you choose, make it fun! If you’re go­ing to the park or a pic­nic, throw around a Fris­bee or play some touch foot­ball. When you’re do­ing fun things that are ac­tive, you won’t feel as pres­sured to set aside ad­di­tional time to hit the gym.

--oOo— The au­thor is SST I at Ma­bal­a­cat Na­tional High School

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