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Exercise Your Way to Wellness

You’ve heard it all before. You may have even heard me say it again and again. Exercise more. Eat better. Sleep more. Stress less. Feel happier. Be more productive. Have more energy. Hydrate. The list of what it takes to be healthy and fit can seem both long and overwhelming.

But not staying on track or not reaching your goals is often not due to a lack of willpower or discipline, it may be that you are trying to do too much at the same time.

Maybe instead of trying to do everything at once, we might start by focusing on one small thing that could lead to a lifetime of sustainable health and fitness results? What if we tried that?

We’ve all seen the research: regular exercise leads to better sleep, less stress, improved mood, and even better-eating habits. More important, it doesn’t have to be super vigorous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the goal for most U.S. adults should be to get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise nearly every day. And it doesn’t all have to be at the same time.

Taking the stairs at work, taking a walk around the building during lunch or a break, parking at the farthest spot when you go shopping, doing squats and triceps dips during commercials on TV, these all count toward your goal of daily movement.

The best part is that when you start to exercise, other behaviors seem to follow automatically. For example, a study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that when college students followed an exercise program but were told not to change their diet, their eating habits still improved. They ate more vegetables and healthy foods and fewer fried, high-fat foods even though they weren’t following a specific meal plan.

Daily physical activity such as gardening, taking the stairs, taking the dog for a walk and/or regular exercise can help improve sleep and even help reduce anxiety.

When you exercise on a regular basis you’ll experience benefits beyond added strength, endurance, and loss of weight. So, challenge yourself to move every day and soon you may find you’re eating better, sleeping a little more soundly, having more energy and less stress, and even being more productive!