Rutgers‒Camden Scholar suggests adding short exercises to daily activities : Rutgers-Camden Campus News
January 26, 2022
By Jeanne Leong
It’s a yearly routine: Many people commit to getting in better shape in the New Year, but after exercising regularly for a month or two, they give up. Just in time, fitness expert Wanda Williams from Rutgers University in Camden suggested ways to keep the momentum going from the start of the year.
“Set a realistic goal,” said Williams, who has studied physical activity in college girls. “Start small before moving to more days and longer time intervals.”
Williams recommends being open to different forms of physical activity, noting that a fun exercise plan is key to staying engaged. This can be accomplished by incorporating exercise into leisure activities like watching television. Instead of lounging on the couch, she suggests walking in place to burn calories or taking a quick, brisk walk around the room during a commercial break. Williams also recommends physical activity with a social component, which can help make exercise more enjoyable.
“Take long walks with friends or start a walking group at work or in your neighborhood,” Williams said. “Consider “active video games” that combine the use of technology with physical activity. Take dance lessons or join a line dancing group.
Williams thinks it’s helpful to schedule consistent time for physical activity. Another option is an exercise app like the 7-Minute Workout Challenge, which features 12 exercises that provide the equivalent of one hour of workout time.
“Try setting the times on a phone or fitness tracker to remind yourself to get up and move,” Williams said, noting that the benefits of regular exercise go beyond physical appearance. “Physical activity can improve cognition and reduce the risk of depression and anxiety. Regular physical activity helps fight arthritis and other rheumatic conditions affecting the joints and helps reduce the risk of falls. “
If you happen to miss a few days or weeks of exercise, don’t be too hard on yourself. “Don’t use this as an excuse to quit,” Williams said. “Start exercising again.” Remember that a little movement is better than doing nothing at all. Sitting less and doing any amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity has health benefits.