Moving Matters! Getting Started

— By Kathy Savoie, Extension Professor, University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Kate Yerxa, Extension Professor, University of Maine Cooperative Extension

This is the second in a series of four blog posts focused on being more physically active. Each blog in the series will build on the information in the previous blog post to help you build physical activity as part of your daily routine.

You may already know that daily physical activity can do great things for your health and well-being. When you combine activity with healthy food choices, your body will be sure to thank you! But isn’t getting started the hardest part?

If so many people realize the benefits of activity, then why are only about 20% of American adults considered physically active? It is because there are roadblocks: things that get in the way and keep us from doing what we really want to. Once we know what things are keeping us from being active, we can find ways to deal with them.

You may find roadblocks inside yourself that keep you from being active. You may think that:

  • I don’t have time.
  • Activity is hard to fit in.
  • I don’t have the energy.
  • I don’t like exercise.
  • Exercise is boring.
  • I’m not physically able to exercise.
  • I’m afraid of injury.
  • I don’t know how to set realistic goals.
  • I need to buy expensive gear.

To stop these thoughts, create a plan of action for getting around roadblocks and get moving. Below are several ways you can be more active.

  • Walk instead of drive to a location.
  • Play with children or pets.
  • Take walking breaks.
  • Do yard work or chores.
  • Take a walk with your family.
  • Use hand weights, step in place, or stretch while watching TV.
  • Dance.
  • Keep a pair of walking shoes with you.
  • Park your car farther away and walk.
  • Walk while doing errands.

Excerpted from University of Maine Cooperative Extension Bulletin Series #4550, Moving Matters