Move It Monday: Exercise Outdoors

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From our friends at The Monday Campaigns:

There’s no substitute for being outdoors. The fresh air, the sunshine, the cool breeze — it’s all invigorating, especially if you’ve been cooped up inside. This Monday, let nature be your gymnasium by adding some outside-activities to your workout routine.

Exercising in a park or wooded area, especially during the summer months, is an excellent way to experience all the sights, sounds, and smells of nature while also getting in your daily physical activity.

But what can you do to stay fit outdoors? A whole lot. Sure, you can start with a simple jog to warm up, but there are many more interesting/exhilarating activities you can do outside, depending on the type of adventure you seek.

Biking

Even at a leisurely pace, biking offers a number of health benefits including increased cardiovascular ability and muscle strength, decreased stress levels, and improved posture and mobility. When riding in the park, try to wear bright or fluorescent colors so that pedestrians can easily see you from a distance away.

Gardening

Weeding, planting, watering, and harvesting can do you a lot of good. Gardening has been shown to improve vitamin D exposure, boost mood, and reduce risk of dementia. Squatting, bending, and sweating is good for the soul as well as joint health and mobility.

Lawn Sports

Frisbee, croquet, and horseshoes don’t have to be relegated to backyard cookouts. These leisurely sports can be a great source of low-intensity physical activity. They’re mobile, simple to set up, and they can be quite entertaining if you’ve got a competitive side.

Nature Hike

It can be through a park, wooded area, or even your own backyard, taking a nature hike (or walk) is one-part physical activity, one-part stress relief. Call your local park service; they should be able to direct you to a list of approved trails and hikes.

Swimming

Lake, pond, or pool, swimming is a great aerobic exercise that will keep you cool and refreshed (and maybe a little out of breath). Try doing laps or make a game out of it if you’re with a friend or partner.

Move It Monday: Stretch for Flexibility

 

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Flexibility influences all other forms of exercise. Most importantly, better flexibility makes every-day activities easier, from getting out of bed to walking up stairs to reaching a high cabinet.

Try these 3 stretches to improve mobility and reduce risk of injury.

Move It Monday: Practice Your Balance

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Exercise is more than just aerobics and strength training. Balance is a lesser acknowledged component of physical fitness, but it is an essential element that can dramatically reduce your risk of injury. Good balance makes everyday activities easier, but it also benefits body awareness, coordination, joint stability, reaction time, and general long-term health.

Try these exercises to feel more stable.

Move It Monday – Dance your way to happiness!

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Want to have fun and still get some cardio? We recommend a little boogie-woogie. This Monday, dance to improve your mood, your heart, and your life!

No matter what kind of dance you do – swing, waltz, tap, modern – when you dance, you move your arms and legs and strengthen your core. This adds up to great cardio, which means weight management, a stronger heart and lungs, and reduced stress.
Click here to learn all the physical and mental benefits of dancing.

Take a Break and Break a Sweat With Fun Fitness Challenges

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From our friends at Move It Monday:

This month, we’re issuing a challenge to take part in several exercises that are designed to boost your overall health. Our goal is to help people obtain the energy they need for the week, and we’re giving you the opportunity to help us achieve this mission by completing this challenge every Monday.

Issue this challenge to anyone that comes to mind, whether it’s someone from work or a friend you video chatted with over the weekend. You can even use social media to tag someone in another part of the world to do the workout.

First up on this fitness challenge is jumping jacks.

Move It Monday: Make an Appointment for Fitness

mondayFrom our friends at MoveItMonday:

Exercise is vital to a healthy life. We all know it can be difficult to make time for it with a busy schedule. This week we share some ideas to fit fitness into your daily routine. Motivate yourself this Monday to make time for a workout – and continue throughout the rest of the week.

Try these 3 tips to make sure you don’t skip fitness this week

Clear Your Head with Meditation

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From our friends at The Monday Campaigns:

This Monday, take a moment to destress with a one-minute meditation. Just one minute can help you calm your mind and clear your head!

Try one of our downloadable meditations today and start feeling more relaxed.

Are You Ready to Start Walking?

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From our friends at The Monday Campaigns:

Walking is a convenient exercise for individuals looking to incorporate more low-impact physical activity into their daily routine.

 Adopting a consistent walking routine is an important step towards an overall healthier lifestyle, but even an activity as straight forward as walking requires a little bit of planning.

First, set a daily or weekly walking goal that focuses on either distance, pace, duration, or some combination of the three. The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends able-bodied adults engage in at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week, so getting in around 30 minutes of walking a day, five days a week is a good goal to work towards.

Second, as with any new physical fitness routine, it’s crucial that you go at your own pace and aim for steady incremental progress. Dramatic changes don’t happen overnight, so trust the process, and help yourself stick with it by making your walks easily accessible.

Lastly, make sure you have the proper equipment and footwear. A high-quality pair of walking shoes with proper padding and enough space between your toes and the front of the shoe will make each step smoother. There are other features — an Achilles tendon protector, heel collar, gel or air midsole — that will ease the impact on the joints and reduce the chances of injury.

Healthy Monday: DeStress at Work

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From our friends at the Monday Campaigns:

If you need to reduce stress at your desk, look no further than a good stretch! Throughout a typical day, it’s normal for tension to build up in our shoulders, neck, and back. Doing a few simple yoga moves can help relieve that tension – and you can do it while seated in a chair! This Monday, spend a few moments stretching your muscles and letting stress go!

The benefits of exercise as stress relief are well-documented, but it’s understandable if you can’t always get up and take a walk during a stressful day. Fortunately, you can still engage in some light physical activity without having to leave your work station or desk. Any movement is good for your body as well as your mind; it will get your blood flowing and direct more oxygen to your brain.

Read more.

Get Moving for Your Mood

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From our friends at MoveItMonday:

Physical activity comes with psychological and physiological benefits that can help improve mood and manage stress.

All forms of exercise — from walking and jogging to yoga and weight lifting — can help reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.

Click here to learn more about how even low-intensity exercise can help improve your brain function and regulate your mood.