Monday, December 31, 2012

Get Moving in the New Year

Now seems like a good time to make good decisions regarding your family's heath and well-being.

Make the decision to get moving.

X-Box, smartphones and other electronic devices can stop us in our tracks (and, realistically, should not be used when moving too fast if you want to avoid injuries). However, sitting is one of the most dangerous habits to cultivate.

Sitting leads to slouching, especially while you're reading or on the computer. Ergonomics experts remind us to stand up and move around at least every 45 minutes or so, but few of us actually do it. Try this: consciously sit up straight at least every 10 minutes. Stretch your back and straighten your spine; imagine a string at the top of your head pulling you up tall.

Once you leave the office or classroom, dedicate at least an hour of your evening to play.

  • When the weather allows, go outside to play. Many fields and some parks have lit courts and tracks. Check with local schools to see when the fields are open for public use. A bike ride in a lit parking lot or a brisk walk around the neighborhood count.
  • When weather doesn't permit outside activities, look to local gyms, schools and rec centers. They often offer drop-in programs for just about every sport, or just use of the facilities.
  • At home, put that Xbox or DVD player to good use: play Wii sports or use a video exercise program. Try something new, like Bollywood dancing or Dance Dance Revolution
Think you don't have time? 

Do yourself a favor: for a week, keep track of how much time you spend on the computer or watching television. You'll be surprised just how much time you spend sitting still. Trade that time for a healthy activity.

Finally, if you're not sure how to start, contact a personal trainer — they often offer group services as well as one-on-one training to put you on the right track.

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