If you’ve made a commitment to being in better shape so that your body can keep performing as you get older, then good for You! If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Face it, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 30 years, you’ve heard and read all the stories about how keeping yourself active and getting in at least 30 minutes of moderate to brisk exercise a day can turn a couch potato’s body into a healthier specimen of the human race.
Most of us know that physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. But while some of us may believe it requires hours in the gym or running half marathons, the health benefits of exercise can actually be enjoyed with much more moderate activity.
"Simply put, we just need to move our bodies a little bit each day," says Eric Holtrop, MD, of the Dignity Health Medical Group – Sierra Nevada. "Just about every medical problem that I see can be vastly improved through exercise and weight loss. It works for almost every condition."
The good news is that there are many low-key recreational activities that count towards your exercise goals. According to the CDC, especially in older adults, significant benefits can be made with moderate amounts of physical activity.
"You don't have to be super fit. You just have to be consistent, create a habit, and do something four to five times a week," says Holtrop.
We would be remiss if we didn't remind you that plain brisk walking each day qualifies as a moderate form of exercise that can go a long way, with a good diet to helping your body work the way it was designed to. An additional perk of doing this on a regular basis so that it becomes a habit will help you to drop some weight while increasing your lung capacity and even helping to lower your blood pressure.
Holtrop also emphasizes one important detail. "It's important, to be honest with yourself. You need to push it just a little bit. You need to breathe hard." One way to hold yourself to an accountability level is to track exactly what your doing and one way to do this is to use an activity monitor. One that can monitor just what type of exercise you're going to be doing or if your going to be undertaking multiple types of activities then a fitness monitor may be the best way to go. For simple walking, a good reliable pedometer can help keep you honest as you step off your distance each day. There are many good ones out there to choose from, an example of which is the Omron Alvita Ultimate Pedometer It accurately counts steps, aerobic steps, distance, and calories, all to motivate you to do more every day.
Now if you’re looking to vary up your exercise routines then like I mentioned above, a good activity monitor would be a better bet for you. While a pedometer is geared to monitor your steps, distance and the calories you’ve burned doing the stepping. A fitness tracker can do all that plus let you know when you’ve been sitting doing nothing for a bit too long. Or depending on the model and brand of activity monitor that you choose to use, it can offer you even some coaching to make sure you will attain the fitness goals you’ve set for yourself. One that is a winner in my book is the Fitbit Versa Health Companion Wearable Smartwatch ) See steps, distance, calories, floors climbed, active minutes, time, during the day. During your sleep, track deep & REM sleep. Designed for All Day, the Versa Features a lightweight and durable anodized aluminum case, comfortable band, and bright color touchscreen. Tracks all of your daily stats, along with personalized insights and reminders all in one place. The "On-Screen Workouts" Allows you to personalize your workouts and gives you guidance through every move & adapts its training suggestions based on your feedback.
So, you see, a smartwatch like the Fitbit Versa can be your wrist-based exercise training couch, one that will keep you honest as you work towards being a healthier and fitter YOU!