From snow blowers and electric hedge trimmers to remote controls for televisions and DVD players, labor-saving gadgets have become the most commonly available and used types of tools in our society. The advances in labor-saving technology have not only impacted the way in which we accomplish tasks, but they have also caused a major decrease in our society's level of physical activity. As a result, the medical problems that are linked to a lack of exercise are becoming a threat to public health. Inactive lifestyle medical risks and problems include: heart disease, high cholesterol, being overweight or obese, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer.
If you want to become more active but are having a hard time fitting exercise into your busy schedule, we want you to know it's easier than you think!
Use your current daily activities to your advantage.
Turn the things you have to do into a source of exercise while you accomplish the tasks.
Take a manual approach!
Although it's convenient, avoid using the devices that will rob you of exercise at home.
Here are some small changes you can apply at home:
- Use a push mower instead of a riding mower or a lawn care service.
- When watching TV, avoid using the remote. Try changing the channels or volume by hand.
- Use chores to your advantage. Sweeping your sidewalk and scrubbing your floors serve as a form of physical activity.
- Go the extra distance! Use the furthest bathroom, especially if it's upstairs.
Try new ways of doing things!
Every small change that you can turn into a habit will make a difference.
Here are a few examples to try:
- Make your surroundings exercise friendly. When doing brisk physical chores, play loud and upbeat music. Research shows that you'll work faster and burn more energy.
- Small bursts of activity, such as light gardening or leaf raking, can improve blood pressure and blood sugar control, and also put off depression.
- Declare war on labor-saving devices. Adopt a new mindset that helps you focus on avoiding tools that could cheat you out of simple physical activity.
- Avoid the elevator and use the stairs whenever possible.
- Take advantage of walking more! Park at the furthest corner of the parking lot so you can get your steps in.
When starting a new fitness program or increasing your level of exercise, be sure to check with your primary care physician.