Starting Small: Staying Active Every Day

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We all know we should get moving and exercise regularly. The guidance is nothing new. But it can feel scary and intimidating if you are not used to being physical or don’t already have a routine. We are here to tell you it’s okay not to work out hard using the formal exercise routines you see on television.

The key is don’t try to tackle too much too soon. Starting small is best and a little does go a long way!

When figuring out what type of exercise is right for you, it is wise to start with a conversation with your doctor and then develop a routine focused on movements that will help any existing medical or physical conditions you may have.

For example, those that suffer from osteoporosis, weight training is important to help build bone mass and slow degeneration. For arthritis sufferers, doctors are likely to recommend low impact cardiovascular exercise, such as swimming or biking or fast-paced walking.

Beyond focusing on what will help existing conditions, weave in movements that are familiar and enjoyable. Think about hiking or dancing for example. Or taking your young grandkids to the park every week can definitely help boost your heart rate.

You will want to build a routine that you are comfortable with, start slowly and then gradually increase your activity over time.

Maintaining good balance is equally as important as staying physically active. Some of the most basic exercises can help you maintain good balance such as marching in place, standing on one foot, and shifting your weight from one leg to another. All these can be done while you stream your favorite shows!

Mixing in yoga, Pilates or tai chi is also a really good idea to build strength and develop balance. The good news is that all these types of exercises have different levels, so you don’t have to know anything before you start.

If you are unsure about where to start, begin by asking friends and family who live in your area. Ask about local exercise classes that might be nearby at gyms or community/senior centers. Or you can find local groups on platforms like Facebook or Nextdoor for people that like hiking in your area or browse discussions with those in your age group about ways they stay active. You can also use Google to find top-rated classes in your neighborhood. Lastly, you can browse Youtube for a large variety of online classes suited for every person at any level at any age.

If you are consistently moving, you are enhancing your energy levels and promoting a healthy brain and lifestyle. And ultimately, staying active allows you to remain independent longer.

Inter Valley Health Plan is hosting an online class – Stay Active Every Day –on November 4 from 12-1 pm where you can Learn how to get your exercise: throughout the day without doing “formal” exercise. Increase your stamina and quality of life with simple everyday activities you will enjoy. To register, click here.

Visit Inter Valley’s blog at for tips on health, lifestyle, Medicare Advantage and living a life full of vitality.

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