7 Tips to get moving in may!

May 17, 2016, 09:55 AM by Chad Davenport, UTMB Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

PelicthleteMay is national Physical Fitness and Sports Month and a great time to spread the word about the benefits of getting active. The tips below can help people of all ages and body types not only get fit, but also reduce stress, lose weight and gain energy!

1. Combine weight training and aerobics. Try gentle resistance training with 30 minutes of sustained aerobic activity. The two activities have great benefits. While weight training increases muscle tone, bone density, strength of connective tissues and metabolism to burn fat at rest, aerobic exercise increases energy and cardiovascular health, improves immune function and decreases stress.

2. Make it fun. Exercising doesn’t always mean you need to go to the gym or throw around heavy weights. Find an activity you enjoy and turn that into an exercise opportunity or make small modifications to things you are already doing on a daily basis.

3. Pick up the pace. Increasing your pace, even just a small amount, can help burn extra calories and improve physical fitness. Walking around the mall at a brisk pace counts—any activity that keeps your heart rate elevated for more than 20 to 30 minutes is an aerobic activity. You do not need to run, jog or cycle.

4. Break a sweat during commercials. Skipping the gym to catch your favorite show or sporting event? You don’t have to be a couch potato—get active during commercial breaks. Start out by doing 20 sit-to-stands during commercials to build up leg strength.

5. Have a ball. Bring an exercise ball to sit at the computer instead of a regular chair. The challenge of sitting on the ball versus the chair will strengthen your core muscles.

6. Park farther away. Rather than stress about getting a spot near the front door, park your car farther away the next time you make a trip to the grocery store, mall or office. Those added steps will really add up in calories burned and will help improve leg strength and balance.

7. Team effort. Get your family or friends involved to make it more fun and keep each other motivated. Explore your community to see what fitness activities are available for all age groups and activity levels and meet new friends while getting fit!