By: Heidi Rudstrom has been the Group Fitness Coordinator and instructor at the Brainerd Family YMCA for 16 years. She is certified in Group Fitness, Lemond Cycle, Zumba, Piyo, Yoga, Aqua, SilverSneakers and Group Power. She graduated from UMD with a major in communication and minors in dance and psychology.
“Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness.” Edward Smith-Stanley (1752-1834) – English statesman, three times Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
“A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.” Paul Dudley White (1886 – 1973) – an American physician and cardiologist
Do you picture yourself living a long healthy life? Maybe you dream of traveling or being active with your grandchildren. If you would like to stay active you need to get and be active. It’s important to move in order to keep moving. By moving your body you stay healthy, strong and feel great!
It’s not always about what we would think of as “exercise” but more about just moving and living an active healthy lifestyle.
Finding the time to exercise can be a challenge. Yes, we are all busy, but isn’t your physical and mental health worth it? Every day we need to set aside a block of time for a planned activity. Make a date with yourself or an active friend. Any time you can find in your day to be active is beneficial.
Adding small amounts of activity like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, dancing to music while making dinner, walking to the mail box, getting up during commercial breaks can be beneficial.
Smaller blocks of time work better for some. Do you have 10-20 minutes two times a day to get active?
Find something you love to do that makes your body move and be active. If you love to walk then walk as much as possible. Walk with friends, walk the dog, walk the arboretum, walk the treadmill, make laps around the grocery store or train for a 5K walk that supports something or someone. If you love to do something it won’t feel like exercise, it will be fun and make you happy.
If you are looking to bump up your fitness level take your walks to a new level by walking hills, power walking, doing intervals by walking faster for 20-30 seconds at a time, who knows maybe it will turn into a jog? It would be great if we all did a cardio workout five days a week, strength trained 2-3 times a week and found time to stretch most days a week.
If something is important to us we will find the time for it. What is more important than keeping our bodies healthy and strong so we can live an active full life? Exercise is the best medicine.
Try not to be overwhelmed by the perfect fitness routine. Make fitness and being active part of your life when and where ever you can.an.
We find people are more motivated to be active when they are surrounded by others that are active. What do your active friends and family members do? Do they go on ski trips or sit on the beach? Do they golf, play pickle ball or tennis? Do they enjoy hikes or getting out in the woods to bird watch? Try a new hobby that is active. If you enjoy socializing with friends over coffee maybe you can walk and talk with them instead of sitting.
Surrounding yourself with active people is very helpful. Have you ever tried a group fitness class? It’s like having a personal trainer with friends. Here at the YMCA we have many great fitness classes where you not only get a great workout but meet new lifelong active friends.
Living a healthy and active life doesn’t just happen. You have to work for it every day. Try to build it into to your hourly, daily and weekly routine. Before you know it you will crave and enjoy being active for long, healthy and fulfilling life.