"The reality is, many people - especially those with school-aged children - enter a season of busyness," says Donna L. Acox, M.A., R.D., registered dietitian at A.L. Lee Memorial Hospital.
Physical activity, Acox
"Put regular physical activity back into everyday life," Acox
says."Exercise physiologists and fitness experts recommend that any kind, and any amount, of exercise is better than nothing."In fact, many of those dull, dreary household chores burn calories and tone muscles, she
points out."Mowing the lawn, raking leaves, pulling weeds from the garden are all good for improving general fitness.So is shoveling snow.Indoor jobs like vacuuming, sweeping, and dusting also provide aerobic benefits.The key is to keep moving!"
As the weather forces people indoors, Acox
suggests putting on some upbeat music while doing housework."The beat will help you move along faster," she
says.And make sure every family member gets involved."A child of just about any age can do something, and it's more fun when the family does a job together.Besides, think how neat and clean your house will be!"Acox
To keep youngsters active at home, develop a trade-off system, Acox
suggests."For every half hour of computer or TV time, require them to put in an hour of active time.Don't let your little tater tots grow into couch potatoes!"
For adults whose kids are into after school sports, their own activity levels may need adjustment."You're spending hours in the bleachers or on the sidelines watching, so why not use a few minutes during the game to walk all the way around the field, or the interior of the building?"Acox
says.Try to fit in 10 minutes here and there, a few times a day.It'll really add up!
Remember to consult your physician before taking up an exercise program, or attempting a strenuous activity if you are not already physically active."Moderation, and expert advice from your health care provider, are essential," Acox