Small steps: Really basic ways to add exercise to your day | National and World

There are many reasons that people avoid exercise. Time is an obvious one. Our lives are already busy — who has time to work out? Money is another common excuse. Gym memberships and equipment can get pricey. People often wonder what type of exercise they should do. There are so many different forms and confusing information that it can be unclear what’s best. People also worry that they’ll get injured. Exercise can be fun until you get hurt, so it may seem easier to just avoid it. Many also wonder what the point of putting forth all that effort is. Although some crave that adrenaline rush, others don’t understand what the fuss is all about.

Why physically and mentally endure exercise?

Although there may be logical reasons to avoid exercise, it’s not a justifiable option. Most of us don’t move enough, and it’s affecting our health. We live in a sedentary culture and must incorporate more movement into our daily routines. Regular activity can have a positive effect on our weight, mood, cardiovascular health, blood pressure, stress management and blood-sugar levels.

What many forget is that there is a form of exercise that bypasses most of the excuses above: Steps. Adding steps into your daily routine can make a big difference.

Steps are simple but require mindfulness. To walk, we must learn to stand properly. If done correctly, standing and walking can work your entire body for the better.

Begin standing instead of sitting. Start with one minute per day. It seems silly, but this is significant. As you practice standing, engage the muscles in your body for good posture. The best way to learn how to stand up straight is to lean against a wall to feel what it’s like to stand up. Feel your head on top of your shoulders, with your neck and shoulders relaxed, your abdominal muscles engaged and your pelvis in a neutral position so that the muscles in your hips and back are balanced.

As you create a solid standing posture, set a timer for yourself at the office or during your day and stand for one minute. You’ll find that adjusting to standing more often than sitting is an important shift. The body has to work to stand. Let your body get used to it.

With a solid standing stance, find ways to incorporate more steps into your day to increase activity.

Get some fresh air and walk outside every day. Even one to…

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