Making Moves — 5 Easy Ways to Add Exercise to Your Routine

It’s not breaking news or even a new message, but it’s worth repeating: physical activity, exercise, moving — whatever you call it — is really good for you. Your body and mind will benefit from it. And it helps prevent or reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke — just to name a few!

If it’s good for you, then why is it so hard to get started? Many things could stop someone from starting or getting routine exercise. One of those might be that many people feel they need a costly gym membership or equipment. Others might live in unsafe areas that stop them from going outside. The good news is that if you make the choice to start, you’ll find easy ways to add movement into each day.

This Harvard Health Letter says that we need “30 minutes of moderate-intensity (a fast walking pace) activity most days of the week — and you can accumulate that total in bouts of 10 to 15 minutes.” We also need two days of strength training. So how can you do this? Here are some low-cost ideas!

  1. Grab a buddy or join a team. Having someone to move with can help motivate you, and they don’t even have to have two legs! Take your
    dog for a walk or play outside with them. Or plan a walking and talking date with a friend. Lots of cities have recreational centers or leagues (softball, baseball, ultimate Frisbee, kickball and more) where you can join a team, make friends and exercise while you’re at it. Check out Let’sGo! SC’s recreational facilities site to find something near you.
  2. Take a hike or a ride a bike. Your neighborhood could be a great, safe place to walk or ride bikes. If it’s not, or if you want to change the scene, try heading out to one of the local parks or hiking trails. You can make it a family affair and get everyone moving! Bonus points for taking a healthy picnic. Find your local park or one of SC’s more than 3,000 trails at Let’sGo! SC.
  3. Schedule a (walking) meeting. If you’re at a job where you sit a lot, try to walk at lunch. Or, if you can, plan a walking meeting with your team. You’ll get work done and get some steps in at the same time. It could also spark some creativity! If you can’t walk and talk for
    a meeting, try to stand for your phone calls. It all counts!
  4. Park far and take the stairs. Park as far as you safely can from your destination and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Taking two stairs at a time gives you even more of a workout!
  5. Do a home workout. It’s easy to believe you need a gym to work out or to strength train. But everything you need is right at home! Use the wall to start doing push-ups. Do some squats. You can even do a chair workout. One more great resource for at-home exercising is the internet. YouTube has plenty of videos for all skill levels. There are even workouts you can find to do while watching TV!

Starting and keeping up with a fitness routine can seem like a lot, but try and take it one step at a time. Set short-term goals, lean on your loved ones for support and believe in yourself! You can make healthy choices, and you’ll thank yourself for it later.

Dr. Imtiaz Khan is currently the Medical Director for Healthy Blue℠, BlueChoice HealthPlan of SC. Dr. Khan received his medical degree from Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and completed his postgraduate work at the Greenville Hospital System in Greenville, SC. He is board-certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Healthy Blue℠ is a sponsor of and the official Managed Care Organization of the website. 


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