Find Joy in Fitness

Do the words “fitness” or “physical activity” or “exercise” make you imagine a painful process that you must endure to alter your appearance? This line of thinking is only going to make you think that “exercise” is not for you. Too often mainstream culture focuses on how exercise will alter your appearance when the conversation should focus on how regular exercise makes your mind and body feel. 

Making the decision to regularly exercise does not mean you need to train for a triathlon or join an expensive gym. There are no strict rules about how we move our bodies but the science is clear–physical activity is necessary for a heart healthy life and is a major contributor to mental and overall health.

Over the next seven weeks, we are challenging you to find movement that you enjoy. We cannot overstate the importance of this suggestion. If you choose an activity that has the potential to bring you joy it is much more likely that it will become a sustainable habit. Physical activity can be any occasion in which you engage in movement that gets your heart beating a little bit faster and makes your muscles work a little bit harder than when you are at rest. 

Regular physical activity can look like playing with kids or grandkids, dancing, practicing yoga, gardening, doing household chores, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator…this list could go on and on! We encourage you to work towards engaging in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and two days of muscle strengthening activities each week, as recommended by the 
Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Your chosen activity can be broken up into 2, 5, 10 or 20-minute blocks throughout the day, which will add up each week. 
The bottom line: find opportunities to be active, however, and wherever you can because it all benefits your physical and mental health.

Provided by NC State University and the NC Division of Public Health.

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