Overcoming Barriers of Physical Activity

by November 27, 2013

Physical activity has been proven time and time again to have amazing results on individual health. It helps with a wide variety of health complications and minimizes many health risks individuals could encounter. Prolonging life should be important and understanding how physical activity can assist is beneficial.

The following are some of the health factors individuals can help improve:

  • Weight management
  • Risk reduction of cardiovascular disease
  • Risk reduction of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • Risk reduction of various cancers
  • Bone and muscle strength
  • Mental and emotional health improvements
  • Improved physical capabilities at an older age
  • Prolonged life and health

Introducing Physical Activity Into Your Life

The difficult part about introducing physical activity and boosting your level of abilities is that in some instances feeling pain and getting hurt withholds us. There are ways to introduce physical activity into any life using moderate physical activity, such as walking, that is much more safe for everyone to do.

We always recommend discusses any changes, big or small with your doctor before starting due to any physical complications or health concerns that you should be aware of.

Reintroducing Physical Activity Slowly

Cardiac events, such as a heart attack, are rare during physical activity. But the risk does go up when you suddenly become much more active than usual. For example, you can put yourself at risk if you don’t usually get much physical activity and then all of a sudden do vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, like shoveling snow. That’s why it’s important to start slowly and gradually increase your level of activity.

If you have a chronic health condition such as arthritis, diabetes, or heart disease, talk with your doctor to find out if your condition limits, in any way, your ability to be active. Then, work with your doctor to come up with a physical activity plan that matches your abilities.  Even 60 minutes a week of moderate physical activity is good for you.

The bottom line is – the health benefits of physical activity far outweigh the risks of getting hurt.

Heart disease and stroke are two of the leading causes of death in the United States.  But we can change those statistics with 60 minutes a week of physical activity.  Regular physical activity can also lower your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels.  And regular physical activity can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.  With so many health benefits that just moderate physical activity can give you, it makes you wonder why the more people aren’t getting off the couch and going for a walk.

It can be difficult sticking to an exercise routine especially with the many hindrances we have in our lifestyles now. Time is the biggest factor we encounter when it comes to physical activity. Busy lives are preventing physical activity and this as over 60% of those in North America inactive.

American Heart Association Recommendations

  • Approximately 30 – 40 minutes of moderate aerobic activity 5 days per wee
  • 25 minutes of vigorous activity at least 3 days per week
  • 20 minutes of high intensity muscle-strengthening activity 2 or more days per week.

Physical activity isn’t limited to just the things you can do at a gym. Physical activity is something that requires the movement of your body and the burn of calories. Some types of physical activity you can do anywhere include:

  • Stair climbing
  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Swimming
  • Biking

Strength and stretching exercises are best for overall stamina and flexibility

The simplest, positive change you can make to effectively improve your heart health is to start walking. It’s enjoyable, free, easy, social and great exercise. A walking program is flexible and boasts high success rates because people can stick with it. It’s easy for walking to become a regular and satisfying part of life.

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