Are you feeling the holidays got you down and you were unable to do the kind of activities you totally enjoy doing?

Now‘s the time to get moving!

Movement is golden for many reasons… Movement keeps our joints limber, it keeps our muscles flexible and strong. When we are flexible and strong we are better able to accomplish the activities that we enjoy doing… Such as hiking, biking, walking, dancing, golfing, and playing with our friends, partners, children and grandchildren!

Below are some tips for starting and sticking with a physical activity program:

1) Find an activity you enjoy! Do you prefer walking or running? Being indoors or outdoors?

2) Ask a friend or family member to join you. Another person or a group keeps you accountable!

3) Identify the best time of day to work out. Are you a morning or afternoon or evening person? When is your energy the best?

4) Start easy and gradually increase your intensity and duration. How much activity is good for you? You should be able to talk and perform your activity with moderate effort.

5) Warm up and cool down to prepare your muscles for activity – don’t stretch “cold” muscles. You may feel a little soreness the next day or two – termed delayed muscle onset of soreness.

6) Strength training at least 2-3 days a week. Most research studies in all ages demonstrates an increase in strength with every other day strength training program. How much do you lift? How many repetitions? You should be able to complete 10 reps with good form. Increase by 5-10% per week without pain.

7) Flexibility 5 days a week. Stretch after a 5-10 minute warm up (walking or cycling) and hold 30 seconds x 3 reps. Go until you feel a gentle stretch and gradually increase each time.

8) Balance retraining 5 days a week. Stand with feet apart near a countertop and chair behind you for safety; hold position for a total of 30 seconds. Repeat 3 to 5 times. Next narrow your stance. Hold. Attempt to close your eyes for 3 to 5 seconds holding countertop and near chair for safety. Do this activity near a mirror to focus on good posture.

9) Aerobics most days of the week. Walking, cycling, swimming, dancing. How much do I do? Cumulative of 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic activity throughout the day. Moderate activity level where you can walk and talk is best. More here during February’s blog – heart month!

Best of luck with your New Year!