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Fitness & Exercise

How to Be Active at Any Size

You can get moving, no matter what your weight.
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Activities for Any Size

Walking is one of the best, and simplest, weight-bearing activities you can do. Dancing is an alternate form of walking that kicks it up a notch. Some good non-weight-bearing activities include water aerobics, swimming, riding a stationary bike, lifting hand weights, and doing stretching exercises. And don't discount activities such as house cleaning, gardening, and washing the car, all of which qualify as physical activity. Whatever activity you choose, go slowly, and start by warming up your muscles with simple movements such as marching in place and swinging your arms.

Here are 10 simple tips to help get you going:

1. Attitude is everything: "I think I can, I think I can." Believe in yourself, and know that every little bit will add up to big results over time.
2. Set realistic goals. Start by walking 5-10 minutes a few times per week, then build on your success.
3. Don't think all activity has to take the form of an actual workout. Move more whenever you can. One of our members works more steps into her routine by pacing while she waits for the microwave.
4. If you can tolerate weight-bearing activity, strap on a pedometer and leave it on throughout the day. Strive to take more steps each day.
5. Schedule mini-breaks of 10-15 minutes of physical activity throughout the day.
6. Only do as much as you can handle comfortably. If you have physical limitations, check with your doctor before starting any fitness routine.
7. Try different movements and activities to find things you enjoy.
8. Turn on some tunes. Listening to music can get you going.
9. Enlist the support of a buddy. Being active is always more fun with a friend.
10. Track your activity progress in the notes section of your journal.

No matter what fitness level, feel good about yourself and what you are able to do now. Don't beat yourself up if you cannot do a certain activity, just try again next time -- and be proud of yourself for trying!

Now, brush off that exercise bike gathering cobwebs in the basement and make a commitment to increase your activity level, even if it's only a few minutes a day. Make physical fitness part of your daily routine. And don't forget to have some fun!

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