At the beginning of the month I wanted to find alternative ways to be fit and active, since it’s been too cold for me to walk outside (my usual source of activity). I enthusiastically decided to call this month Fit February!
I’d say this month was a success! I went on the treadmill almost everyday, took the stairs instead of the elevator at school, and I even did some laps around the house (I’m pretty sure my dog thought I was crazy!) I’ve tried to find a variety of creative little ways to be active, hoping that they would add up to an overall ‘fit and healthy’ lifestyle!
So, for the last Monday of February, I want to encourage you to finish strong! The average American gets less than 5,000 steps a day, while the American Heart Association recommends getting double that! While you may not always be motivated to get up and get moving, you will always be glad you did! Here are just 5 benefits (there are many more!) of being fit and active:
- Healthy Weight Control– Trying to lose a few pounds, or simply maintain your already healthy weight? Exercise is the answer! Exercise helps your body to burn more calories and build muscle which increases your bodies metabolic rate, so you lose weight even after your workout! Recent studies are finding that cardio helps your body burn calories even after a workout! Time to hit the gym 🙂
- Increased Energy– Feeling tired even after downing your AM coffee? Try taking a little break and going for a walk. Exercise helps to increase blood flow and thus increase your energy levels. Studies even show that being more active prevents blood sugar spikes (and the inevitable crash) after eating a meal… this means that your energy levels remain more consistent throughout the day… no more 3pm slump!
- Better Mood– Endorphins are no lie! A good workout causes your body to release endorphins (a feel good hormone) which helps you feel your absolute best! Being active promotes a positive attitude and increased self esteem.
- Reduced Stress– Feeling stressed? Skip the high sugary treats and go for a walk! Walking is my absolute favorite way to de-stress. Even if it’s too cold outside, simply hitting the treadmill for 20 or 30 minutes and tuning into your favorite reality TV show (or plugging in your head phones and jamming out) allows you to clear your head and take a step back from the stresses of the world!
- Better Sleep– Need help drifting to sleep at night? Get in an AM workout! Being active naturally promotes a healthy sleep cycle. It helps you drift into sleep, as well as stay asleep. I find that when I work out, I tend to sleep like a baby and I credit that to being fit and active. Your body’s muscles are tired and they need repair… they need sleep, and so do you.
So, get up off the couch! Jog in place while watching your favorite TV show. Run up and down the stairs during every commercial. Chase your dog or cat around the house. Drop down and do some crunches instead of crunching through a bag of chips. Turn up your favorite tunes and DANCE like you mean it! Even five or ten minutes every now and then will add up and help create a happy, healthy lifestyle.
Have you stayed fit this February? What are your favorite ways to stay active?