Obesity is a major problem in America, and more and more people are facing the life-threatening consequences of heart disease, diabetes and other weight-related illnesses. Even people who aren’t overweight can still benefit tremendously from regular exercise. Aerobic exercise strengthens the heart and lungs, improves flexibility and boosts the immune system. Everyone can benefit from an hour of exercise each day.
If you’ve previously avoided working out, you may not have found the right exercise for you. Here are a few suggestions you might want to try:
1. Walk the mall
Most shopping malls open early in the morning to allow walkers to make a few laps before the stores open. The loop is air-conditioned and protected from the elements, so you don’t have to worry about the weather the way you would when walking outside. Walking the mall is a great option for people who are self-conscious about exercising: You won’t run into many people, and those you do will assume you’re just window shopping.
2. Join a team
Lots of people hate exercising but love competitive sports. Tap into your competitive nature by joining a team or league. Many employers will offer a softball or basketball team, or you can find a group online that offers team sports. Pick something you enjoy and tell all your family and friends to come support you at your games. By taking your new hobby seriously, you’re more likely to stick with it.
3. Try dancing
Dance classes are becoming more popular, and for good reason. Dancing helps with coordination and flexibility, and dancing is a practical skill that can be used in a variety of social settings. There’s dozens of dancing options, from ballroom and swing to zumba and belly dancing, so you’re bound to find something you enjoy.
4. Go for a swim
Most cities have at least one public pool, and many apartment complexes have their own pools as well. Swimming provides low-resistance aerobic exercise that’s great for people with joint pain or other conditions that limit traditional forms of activity. You can swim laps, play a round of water polo with your friends or try some water aerobics.
5. Play some video games
Motion gaming is the newest hot trend, with programs like Nintendo’s Wii, the Xbox Kinect or the PlayStation Move providing a way for players to get off the couch and get some exercise while playing. Some titles are exercise-oriented while others are simply games that incorporate movement, like dancing games or adventure games.
No matter how you choose to work out, exercising for just an hour a day can have a tremendous positive impact on your health. By choosing an activity that you enjoy, you can make exercise time something you look forward to every day.