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.

Enjoy Some Family Fun Yoga

move it monday

From our friends at TheMondayCampaigns:

Yoga is the ideal indoor-exercise. Requiring only a few square feet of space, yoga’s low-impact movements help support both the physical and mental well-being of you and your family.

What sets yoga apart from other forms of exercise is that it can be practiced by people of all different ages and fitness levels. Even with minimal experience, you’ll start feeling the benefits almost immediately, which is why a daily family yoga session is key to keeping everyone spry, stress-free, and occupied.

Click here for some yoga poses perfect for the whole family.

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: Fun Family Fitness

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From our friends at #MoveItMonday

The sound of the wind rustling through branches, the sight of moss crawling over tree stumps, the sweet smell of fallen leaves after a fresh rain: There’s magic in the woods… but you’ve got to go find it.

Make this Move it Monday an afternoon of exploration with a family nature walk and scavenger hunt through the forest, public park, or even your backyard. Children of all ages are drawn to the adventure and endless intrigue of the outdoors, but incorporating a scavenger hunt will keep them moving and engaged (and well behaved).
Don’t know where to start? Click here.

Move It Monday: Fun Family Fitness

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Happy Healthy Monday from our friends at the Monday Campaigns!

There’s nothing like a little friendly competition to bring the family closer. So why not turn your plain-old, ordinary exercises into a family fitness challenge.

Experts recommend individuals spend at least 150 minutes per week exercising or being active, so we’ve compiled a list of exercises that can easily be converted into fitness challenges for you and the whole family to do together. Completing one or two of these challenges a week will help you satisfy that weekly workout requirement. Group challenges inevitably motivate you to push yourself a harder, and they can even help you squeeze out an extra rep (or two or three).

The cherry on top is that these fitness challenges don’t require any hardcore workout equipment; all you need is maybe a few chairs, some floor space, and a few willing participants.

Check out five of our favorite challenges.

Move It Monday: Weekend Walks

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From our friends at #MoveItMonday!

Walking isn’t just a weekday activity. Weekends are a great time to go for a walk. For starters, you don’t have things like work and picking up / dropping off the kids consuming huge chunks of your day.

You also have the time to go for a walk at location that isn’t near your home or office.

See our ideas for a weekend walk.

Move It Monday: Fuel Your Workout With Music

move it monday

From our friends at Move It Monday:

Happy #MoveItMonday!

Music and exercise go together like peanut butter and jelly. Do you have a favorite workout playlist? If not, it’s worth putting one together. Exercising to music has some big, scientifically-proven benefits – here are just some of them.

Move It Monday: Dance With Someone You Love!

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From our friends at Move It Monday:

Looking for some enjoyable activities you can do with your partner to get moving this Monday? Why not get started on the right foot with some dancing!

Dancing is often considered a social activity so its many health benefits can be overlooked.  While certainly entertaining, dancing is also an excellent form of physical activity that offers a broad range of benefits. It’s good for your heart and can improve muscular strength, balance, and flexibility.

But wait, there’s more! Getting fit with a partner can bring unexpected rewards such as quality time with your partner, improve your mood, and make it easier and more enjoyable to commit to fitness.

Ready to dance? Get started today!

  • You don’t need to be an expert – it’s easy to find a class with a good instructor at your local gym, recreation center, or dance studio.
  • There is no equipment necessary, except a good pair of comfortable shoes.
  • Dancing can be for everyone. If you or your partner need special accommodations, seek out adapted special needs classes. Many facilities are committed to providing all-access classes.

Spend quality time on the dance floor with your partner this Monday for a fulfilling and shared fitness experience. Move It Monday is an international campaign encouraging people of all fitness levels to kick off the week with exercise.

Move It Monday: Do a Monday Mile

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From our friends at MoveItMonday:

Walk For Heart Health
February is American Heart Month and we’re highlighting some of the positive impacts physical activity can have on your heart. Being more active can offer many benefits to your health. It can help reduce stress, build muscles, and increase your endurance. It can also boost your heart health! Walking is something many of us do every day, several times a day. When it’s done for more than 30 minutes a day, it can be a great exercise for people at almost any level of fitness. It’s the first Monday of American Heart Month, so find some time to walk today!

Walking Can Be a Perfect Low-Impact Activity
Some people are a bit daunted by the idea of exercise or may not feel like they’re in the condition to take on something physically demanding. But walking can be an ideal low-impact activity for people who are just starting a fitness routine, coming back after a medical recovery or even pursuing something more challenging. Thirty minutes of brisk walking every day can add up to the recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical activity you get every week, even if that 30 minutes is broken up into 10- or 15-minute walks.

According to the American Heart Association, a daily walking routine can benefit your cardiovascular system by reducing your risk for several conditions such as heart disease and stroke, obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes (as well as osteoporosis and breast and colon cancer). If the physical rewards weren’t enough, walking also burns calories, keeps your muscles strong, and reduces stress. And all you have to do is walk!

Start Monday and Keep Moving
If you can devote 30 minutes to walking a Monday Mile during your day, that’s great! But there are many ways to incorporate more walking into your daily routine that can be done throughout the day. If you have a dog, take him or her for a walk instead of staying in the backyard. If you drive a car, park farther away from your destination and walk the rest of the way. Taking stairs instead of an elevator is another way to squeeze in a few steps; it also provides an added challenge and changes up your terrain. You can even take a walk around your office and hold “walk-and-talk” meetings.

This Monday, get walking for a healthier heart! Seek ways to keep it up all week, and let each Monday be a reminder to stay on track.

Move It Monday: Start Slow and Build Up

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From our friends at Move It Monday:

If you’re using this Monday to begin a new fitness routine, this is a great step toward following a healthy lifestyle! However, before you start moving, make sure you start smart and ease yourself in. This Monday, start your new workout slow so you can avoid injury and get stronger!

When you’re motivated and ready to start a new activity, it’s tempting to want to dive right in – especially if you’re starting something fun! Many people who push themselves beyond their fitness levels may put themselves at risk for injuries. But there’s a smart way to begin a new workout without hurting yourself, and it’ll even make a challenging workout easier to get used to.

First, be prepared for a workout. Make sure you’re wearing comfortable, breathable clothes and sneakers. Have a bottle of water handy to stay hydratedduring your workout; it’s a good idea to be hydrated before and after, too. Once you’ve decided on a workout, set a simple goal for yourself. For example, if you’re walking, aim to walk at a moderate pace for about 10 to 15 minutes to start. If you’re lifting weights, start with lighter weights at first. If you’re hoping to do something more aerobic and high-impact, start with short sets of mini-workouts. Starting slow will not only prevent you from overdoing it, it will help you assess your current fitness level.

You can use every Monday to track your progress and challenge yourself to reach your next level. Spending your first week as a beginner can also serve as a warm-up for your body and get it used to a new activity. Doing low-impact exercises will get your blood flowing and your muscles moving, so you’ll still be doing something great for your health! After that first week, see if you’re ready to move to the next level – then challenge yourself!

This Monday, work out the smart way by starting slow! Every Monday can be the perfect time to either keep going or take your exercise to the next level.