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Employee Wellness: Stay Active This Fall

As summer comes to an end, the number of daylight hours decrease, and the air becomes crisper outside, many individuals find themselves less inclined to be physically active. If you’ve ever experienced an exercise slump due to the transition of seasons, you are not alone. Keep reading to learn some ways you can stay active this autumn.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends 30 minutes of physical activity a day, at least five days a week. This is the minimum recommendation to protect your risk against heart disease and some cancers (the two leading causes of death), decrease your potential for depression, help you maintain a healthy weight, improve your sleep, relieve stress, and build overall strength and endurance. You may be aware of these exercise benefits, but you may still have a hard time setting aside 30 minutes for exercise or getting back into your summer routine when the colder weather starts.

Bundling up for a scenic hike, raking leaves, and apple picking are great ways to be active in the fall when you have the time. But remember that some physical activity is better than nothing. In fact, it may even be more beneficial to be active throughout the day instead of being inactive for hours and then going to the gym. Research has shown that those who are involved in physical activities throughout the day are at a lower risk of health problems compared to those who are inactive for hours and then become active. Shout out to the people doing yoga on their work breaks! Here are some other ways you can be active throughout the day:

  • Break your physical activity into 10 minutes bursts in the morning, afternoon and evening. Whether it is 10 minutes of walking, running, strength training or yoga, the movement will add up!

  • When doing chores around the house, try to incorporate more movement. Play some music to get you grooving or put in that extra elbow grease to get your heart rate up. This will help it go by faster and be more enjoyable.

  • When going on errands park further away from buildings to increase your steps.

  • Likewise, use the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Stairs can be a great mid-day exercise break at work, too.

  • Use a standing or walking desk. Don't have a standing desk at work or home? There are plenty of do-it-yourself tips for creating your own standing desk inexpensively.

  • Stand or pace during work calls.

  • At work, use a restroom on a different floor to get more stairs in.

  • Save the last 10 minutes of your lunch break for a walk. If it's too cold outside, take some laps in your home or office building (Remember those stairs? You can work those in too.).

  • Set a timer every hour to get up and start moving for one to two minutes. You could stand up and stretch, work in some simple calisthenics--anything to get you moving.

So, the next time your smartwatch tells you "It’s time to get moving," you should get moving. Think of what activities you enjoy doing or what new activities you are willing to learn to make your new exercise routine more appealing. Try scheduling physical activity into your daily calendar--this is a great way to make an intention into a habit. Also, to keep you motivated, involve family members or friends in your plans to be active. Whatever works, find your grove and stick with it.

You may have read this article because you are having trouble keeping up with your summer exercise routine or are considering changing your lifestyle. Whatever made you seek this information out, it is important to remember that initial desire as it can be a strong motivating factor when you find yourself too busy, too tired, or just caught-up dealing with whatever life throws at you. While these are some ideas to help, the most important and biggest deciding factor is your personal desire for change.

Learn more about how to stay physically active and other wellness programs offered by Wellness Workdays.

Written by: Hilma Porter, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern




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