NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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Here's Wishing You a Happy, Healthy New Year!

Happy New Year

Can you think of anyone who doesn’t know that physical activity and exercise are “important” and "good for you?"

Me either.

Yes, the physical and mental benefits of physical activity are well documented.  Walking is often cited as one of the simplest pursuits that helps us reap health benefits.  Specifically, walking strengthens our heart.  It also helps reduce stress and the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.

Sometimes excuses get in the way of getting out for a walk or other exercise.  Those excuses might be what we can refer to as “yabutz.”  For example:

   - “Ya, but I’m too tired,” or
   - “Ya, but it’s too late (or too early),” or
   - “Ya, but I don’t feel like it,”

A bad case of “the yabutz” calls for a dose of girt and self-discipline.  Take it in baby steps.  Remember that something is better than nothing, then stand up to march in place during TV commercials, or choose to park your somewhere other than the closest space to the entrance, or walk rather than sit during a break time. 

However, even if we’ve conquered “the yabutz,” there may be other barriers to our going walking.  Extremely cold weather is one such barrier, as are slippery sidewalks.  No one wants to fall! 

Once we determine what our barriers are regarding physical activity, we can figure out solutions.  As the saying goes, “desperate times call for desperate measures,” and also, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” There it is again:  grit and self-discipline!

If cold is the problem, we can bundle up in layers.  If slippery surfaces are what is holding us back, we can invest in “grippers" to clip onto our shoes or boots.  If our community offers a community or fitness center, school gym, or school hallways for indoor walking, we can take advantage of the opportunity to have a safe indoor place to walk.  Perhaps purchasing a treadmill for our home is an option.

Before setting out, be sure you have properly fitting walking shoes.  Take along a water bottle and stay hydrated.  A pedometer or fitness app can help you keep count of your steps (strive to get to eventually build up to 10,000 steps per day).  A watch or clock can help you track your time as you strive for at least 10 minutes three times a day to achieve a minimum of 30 minutes a day of walking or other physical activity or exercise.

Some other physical activity options are:
   -  exercise to a DVD,
   -  turn your kitchen into a gym, using your countertop for balance and stretching exercises
   -  put on some good music and dance around the house

Adapted from:  Prairie Fare: I Pledge Not to Be a Sloth This Winter, Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, 12/17/15.
Photo Credit:   https://pixabay.com/en/happy-new-year-2016-celebration-1092457/ (downloaded 1-6-16)

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