In a recent article in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, it was revealed that less than 25 percent of Americans actively exercise the recommended 30 minutes or more daily. Unfortunately, if you are not in that rarified 25 percent, you are setting yourself up for potentially developing heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer and more.
Active Transportation Options
In today’s economy, driving the car to work or for getting from one place to another has become extremely expensive. One answer to higher gas prices is to use active forms of transportation and save money. Not only are you saving money, but you are being physically active in the process.
According to the study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, most people fail in getting the minimum level of physical activity recommended for health. This includes using forms of active transportation, such as bike riding, walking and in-line skating. Other types of active transportation include skateboarding, using a wheelchair – not an electric scooter – or, for those in snowy climates, snow boarding or cross country skiing.
In many cases, governmental policies and infrastructure have been designed to discourage people from using active forms of transportation, unwittingly acting in collusion to help people avoid physical activity. However, communities that are designed to encourage bike riding, walking and other types of physical activity also show that, if provided, people will become active as part of their daily activities. For example, cities such as Portland, Sacramento, Philadelphia and Boston have all made an effort to incorporate bike lanes, safe walking paths and alternative transportation as viable commuting options.
Humans are Designed for Mobility
Although humans have embraced the automobile over the last century as the chosen mode of transportation, we are really designed for self transport. Our bodies function much better when we are upright and moving on a regular basis. In fact, in recognition of this physical reality, one of the latest moves of many businesses is to offer desks that provide the option to walk on a treadmill while working instead of sitting for hours on end at a traditional desk.
Walking every day has been shown to lower blood pressure, improve balance, increase stamina, reduce fatigue and contribute to maintaining a healthy weight. Exercise also increases your metabolism, which is maintained even when you are resting and improves your body’s ability to metabolize insulin. Routine exercise can also reverse many serious health conditions, such as pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and many other health problems.
Many of us complain that we do not have time to join a gym or work out every day. However, if you integrate physical activities into your daily routine, this no longer works as an excuse. You can walk or ride your bike to work, you can use a standing desk instead of sitting all day, take the stairs instead of the elevator and do almost anything that gets you up and moving for a minimum of 30 minutes every day.
What are your excuses for not being active? What kinds of things can you change that will get you up and moving?
– The Alternative Daily