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How to Incorporate Exercise into Your Everyday Life

By Elizabeth Danovich, Alvernia University, Occupational Therapy Student

Dec 04, 2018
Exercise & Health

Imagine it being the middle of the semester in your first year of college. All of the assignments start hitting you at once and you begin to feel the stress. This may also occur in the workforce and one way to manage this stress and to live a healthier life at the same time can be by exercising! When you are very busy with duties and work it can seem very difficult to stay active on a daily basis. And it is typically not at the top of the “to-do list” either. Despite the many responsibilities that lie on your shoulders, there are many ways to bring exercise into your daily routine, gain benefits from the exercise, and stay determined throughout the process.

If you are a student or a worker, how can you bring exercise into your daily life? First off, exercise is defined as an “Activity requiring physical effort, carried out to sustain or improve health and fitness” according to Oxford Dictionaries. When we think of exercising, most people think about having to go to the gym, but that isn’t the case, nor do we have the time to do that every day. When at school, a way to be active is to take the stairs instead of the elevator in buildings. As tempting as it is, when you are sitting in class for hours, an easy action to do on your way to the classroom is to walk up the stairs. It does make an impact on your health because you’re working your muscles and every bit of exercise adds up. Also, if you are packed with assignments it is a good idea to take a break. Try going to the gym for 30 minutes or taking a walk outside. As a worker, you could try standing up when you have phone calls. This is a small thing to do to get yourself up and moving out of that chair. Also, according to Katie Rosenbrock, a writer for The Active Times, she says that you could also “Walk to the break room, water cooler or restroom every 90 minutes or so.” This will get your legs moving and have your mind focusing on something else, which I will explain later as to why that is very beneficial. For everyone, you can also try biking to a location, cleaning, playing with pets, and playing the Wii! Exercise can be fun if you choose to make it fun! These suggestions are a few examples of exercise and they will benefit your health in the long-run.

When performing small activities such as the ones listed above, your mind and body are benefiting from the movement. More specifically, it decreases stress levels and weight loss. According to Arlene Semeco, a writer for Healthline, she stated that “it can make you feel happier”. When moving around and doing something active, it gets rid of that stressful feeling we all may get. She says that it “produces changes in the parts of the brain that regulate stress and anxiety”, which plays a role in the decrease of depression as well. So, it is proven that exercise impacts your brain and it can even help you perform your daily life tasks even better! The other benefit to exercising is weight-loss. Even if you do not need to lose weight, exercising will strengthen your bones and muscles in your body as well, and that is easily recognized as a benefit to each and every one of us. Simply taking a stroll through a beautifully designed park, or even standing up out of a chair to stretch will have its benefits mentally and physically.

How many of you say “I am going to be active and eat healthier every day”, but you somehow end up lying on the couch taking a nap or watching TV with a bag of chips in your hands? Now, this is a very common thing in society today, so how can you stay determined throughout this process? First, try setting a goal for yourself. For example, it could be to get 10,000 steps in each day, or to play with the pets instead of watching TV. Mainly, try substituting some things for something more active. Second, give yourself a reward. This award could be buying something from a store, or something small such as eating a little treat. Eating healthy and exercising go hand-in-hand but rewarding yourself will encourage you to keep working hard and not give up. Third, think about the benefit in the long-run. If you think about how all of this movement will pay off in the end, then you will continue to be motivated. As long as you set a goal for yourself and remain optimistic, then you will stay strong throughout the whole process.

In the end, exercise is a huge benefit to society. It is something that can be as small or as big as you want it to be, but you must be moving around. It is so easy to sit down and not move for hours, but imagine how different you’ll feel if you get your body moving and using those muscles. You’ll feel great! Now if you do a full body workout you may feel a tad sore, but you can at least feel refreshed afterwards! Although your days may feel jam-packed, by being active in the slightest way you will be exercising, and it will relieve that stress that might be flowing throughout your mind and body and will improve your mental and physical health in the long-run!

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