PAUL'S POINT OF VIEW
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HEALTH AND FITNESS GOALS START WITH SMALL STEPS
For instance, 150 minutes of physical activity per week, whether you’re walking, running, biking, swimming, or doing any other activity, you are 31% less likely to die prematurely (from any number of causes, like cancer or heart disease). You are 20% less likely to die prematurely if you do any physical activity at all, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day. In other words, a walk around the neighborhood can be a lifesaver! The study found that 450 minutes of physical activity per week, or roughly an hour per day, is the sweet spot. Getting about an hour of exercise every day is one of the best ways to maximize your health. But setting it as a goal doesn’t necessarily make sense. Here’s what I mean by that. Going into the new year, many people want to focus on better health and fitness, but goals related to health and fitness are often left unfinished. Why is that? Many people have their sights set on big goals. They want to lose a lot of weight, see a visible increase in muscle mass, or be able to run a mile (or five) instantly. The goals are often unrealistic or even unachievable. When it comes to health and fitness goals, there is no such thing as immediate gratification. And it also takes a lot of hard work. You have to build up to that 450 minutes of
By the time you read this, my wife and I will have had our weekend getaway at Pronghorn Resort — finally! I’ve mentioned it a few times over the past couple months. It was something we’d been looking forward to for a long time, and we finally made it happen. We took the weekend off to celebrate our anniversary — just us. I hope your start to the new year has been a good one! I rang in the new year by going to bed. I decided to be well-rested going into 2020, which is a good goal to have any time of the year. Sleep is an important part of good health and this year, I decided to focus more on my personal health and fitness. As part of that goal, I’m running more. As you may recall, I’ve talked about getting in physical activity or going for a walk or a run after a meal. It’s a great way to burn energy as your body takes in more. One night at around 10 p.m., when there was a break in the weather, I got up and went for a run. I recently read an article talking about new studies into the importance of daily physical activity. New research shows that any level of activity can have a positive effect, but there is a sweet spot to get the maximum return on your health.
activity per week. For myself, I’m going to start with 150 minutes per week — or about 20 minutes per day. There’s plenty of wiggle room. I could do 30 or 40 minutes one day and skip one day — but skipping a day has its drawbacks. When you skip getting that activity in, you’re more likely to skip again in the future. It can have a snowball effect. It’s best to take small, incremental steps and set achievable goals. Work your way up to the bigger goals. Start by getting into the habit of doing more physical activity. When you start with small steps, it’s only a matter of time before you’re taking great strides.
–Paul Kane, P.T., BSC, CMP
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