Physical activity includes all forms of activity, such as everyday walking or cycling to get from A to B, active play, work-related activity, active recreation (such as working out in a gym, aerobic classes, martial arts or kickboxing, skipping), dancing, gardening or playing active games, as well as organised and competitive sport. For most people, the easiest and most acceptable forms of physical activity are those that can be incorporated into everyday life and one that is enjoyable. It is not everyone that will be opportune to register in a gym or go for aerobic classes yet there are ample opportunities available everyday that gives opportunities to partake of the benefits of an active lifestyle.
It is common knowledge that people give attention to what is important to them. There is a need to reassess the value you attach to the proper functioning of your body and desire to live a healthy life. The most common excuse I hear every day is lack of time but it so amazing that as far back as 1873, the same excuse has been in existence. Edward Stanley, Earl of Derby at an address he gave on The Conduct of Life at Liverpool College in 1873 said “Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness”. How true. There is really no excuse to justify physical inactivity in anyone’s life.
Listed below are some of the ways physical activities can be incorporated into daily living:
- Walk part of your journey to work, this might mean leaving home a little bit earlier
- Use the stairs instead of the lift
- Walk to the shop
- If possible walk kids to school
- Stand more often
- Do housework yourself, it’s amazing the amount of energy expended through house cleaning, washing, hovering.
Generally, the easiest way to include physical activities into daily life is to look for every available opportunity to walk. Walk everywhere; it is easy, at no cost yet of tremendous benefit to the body. Anyone can walk- children, adults, older adults. Walking for 30 minutes a day or more on most days of the week is a great way to improve or maintain your overall health. If you can’t manage 30 minutes a day, just do it in bouts of 10 minutes. Any movement of the body no matter the duration benefits the body. You can also join or initiate a walk group with your friends and walking with others can turn exercise into an enjoyable social occasion.
The call to a lifetime of physical activity is a call to use the body in a way it was designed, which is to walk often, run sometimes and move in ways where we physically exert ourselves regularly whether that is at work, at home, in transport to and from places or during leisure time in our daily lives.