Move It Monday: Stay Active to Stay Healthy

From our Friends at MondayCampaigns.org:

Do you want to improve your strength, balance, and flexibility, have more energy, sleep better, feel happier, and reduce your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers?

The answer is simple: start (and stay) active.

Regardless of your age or ability level, getting active—whether it’s walking, jogging, strolling, rolling, stretching, yoga, dancing, or weightlifting—can positively impact your physical and mental wellbeing and lead to a better quality of life.

Here’s how regular physical activity can transform your day-to-day life.

Move It Monday: Get More Out of Your Workout

From our friends at the MondayCampaigns.org:

Warming up and cooling down are two important components of every fitness routine, but how can you use them to improve the quality of your workout?

Benefits of a Warmup

Although there’s no strict definition for what constitutes a “warmup,” the basic idea is doing an activity or exercise at a slower pace to help prepare the body for more intense aerobic workout.

A warmup gradually engages your cardiovascular system, which raises your body temperature and increases blood flow to the muscles. This improves the elasticity (the stretchiness of muscle tissue) and can help reduce muscle tightness, pain, and risk of injury.

A warmup can also be an exercise in itself. Stretching during or immediately after your warmup can improve your flexibility in both the long and short term. Just remember to stretch after you’ve done a short aerobic exercise to get the blood flowing to your muscles.

Properly warming up before a workout can also benefit your mental state. If you start your fitness routine with heavy weights or a strenuous aerobic fitness routine, you’re more likely to be discouraged. Starting slowly and easing yourself into your exercises gradually prepares you for a full and effective workout.

Benefits of a Cooldown

After you finishing a workout, a 10-minute cooldown allows body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure to return to their normal levels. Stopping an intense exercise abruptly without a cool down can possibly lead to dizziness or even fainting.

Cooldown exercises, like stretching, walking, foam rolling, and deep breathing, can help lower your risk of injury and reduce stress to the heart and other muscles.

If you’re looking to incorporate more stretching into your workout routine, try starting with some beginner yoga poses. Stretching helps improve your flexibility as well as range of motion around the joints, while also benefitting balance and bone health.

This Monday, take a few extra minutes before and after your workout to fit in a warmup and cooldown.

Move It Monday: Get Fit Using Body-weight

From our friends at the Monday Campaigns:

Your most useful piece of fitness equipment is always close by. Yes, we’re talking about your body. Body-weight exercises, also known as calisthenics, are beneficial to people of all ability levels.

This Monday, try to boost your fitness routine with these 5 simple bodyweight exercises you can do anywhere.

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.