Seven Ways to Keep Moving

What can you do enjoy better health?

Put Keep Moving at the top of your list

Keep Moving may be your best bet to achieve vibrant health and well-being. What is “Keep Moving” anyway? It’s simple. Keep Moving refers to any type of bodily activity that uses your major muscle groups.

Why would you want to Keep Moving? Because it predicts an almost endless array of benefits. Promoting the positives: greater energy, greater ability to engage with the world, and feeling better. Avoiding the negatives: lower risk of type 2 diabetes or a heart attack or becoming dependent on others later in life.

How can you Keep Moving? You’ve got lots of options. The following seven provide easy and proven ways to nurture your body, mind, and spirit. Many more exist.

1) Walk—Waking is about the most basic type of whole-body movement. You don’t need much equipment to get started except a pair of comfortable shoes and a place to walk. Plus, if you walk from your home, get to meet your neighbors and give their dogs a scratch.

2) Swim—Swimming pools are widely available in the US. My wife, Betsy, enjoys swimming more than just about any other form of physical activity, especially outside in the summer. Swimming’s smooth movements often won’t aggravate existing aches and pains.

3) Garden—Betsy and I have gardened for decades. We relish the nutritious produce our garden provide, and we Eat Better. Plus, we give away vegetables and pesto made from our basil to our neighbors.

4) Volunteer—My long-term volunteering with Wildlands Restoration Volunteers in Colorado provides me with three-for-one benefits: physical activity, cultivating social connections, and living with purpose. No matter where you live or your age or capabilities, volunteer opportunities abound. Take the initiative to find one that suits you.

5) Dance—Dance also provides multiple benefits, including improved cardiovascular fitness, better balance and more social connections. Your community may have a ballroom that offers dancing on weekends. Community organizations may offer learn-to-dance lessons.

6) Take a class—The YMCA to which I belong offers a multitude of classes, many of them free, for people of all abilities. The folks I see in the classes look like normal people. Why not join them in your town?

7) Run errands on your bicycle—You might think this is far out. I thought so, too, once upon a time. But not anymore. Several years ago, Community Cycles in Boulder offered a class that included a used plastic kitty litter container and hardware to attach it to the rear racks on the bicycles of the class participants. Ever since, I happily do most of my errands on my bike rather than in my car.

Pick one of these options (or another one you’ve thought of). Make sure the option you’ve chosen is one that you will enjoy doing, you believe will improve your life, and you believe you can accomplish successfully. Develop a goal related to your particular choice to Keep Moving. It might be to swim a mile (or half a mile) without stopping. Then come up with one or more micro-goals to get you started. One might be to buy a new swim suit. Or maybe to swim for 15 minutes three times a week. Then start doing it. If doing this by yourself seems daunting, recruit a friend to join you. If you’ve been inactive for some time or if you have chronic medical conditions, consider checking with your doctor to make sure that your choice of movement will be safe for you.

What might happen in your life if you Keep Moving? There are no guarantees, of course, but you can expect, over time, to feel better, have more energy, and live better. Why not give it a try?

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