With lawns to cut, golf to play, decks to stain, and sweat to… be sweated, summertime is when many people are at their most fit and trim.
“Now that we’re into the fall season, commit to building on that momentum,” encourages Nicholas Massa, M.D., senior medical director for clinical services at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “Come up with a plan to keep feeling the burn throughout the fall and winter months when you might easily lapse.”
Physical Activity: More than A Seasonal Activity
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 60 percent of adults do not achieve the recommended amount of regular physical activity. The CDC defines a moderate amount of physical activity as using about 150 calories of energy per day, or 1,000 calories per week.
“Being active shouldn’t be a seasonal thing, and activity doesn’t need to be strenuous to achieve health benefits,” says Massa.
Among the CDC’s suggestions for moderate fall fitness activities are raking leaves for 30 minutes, washing windows for 45 minutes, gardening for 30 minutes, and shoveling snow for 15 minutes.
Health Benefits of Physical Activity
According to the CDC.gov, regular physical activity improves health in the following ways:
- Reduces the risk of dying from heart disease.
- Reduces the risk of developing diabetes.
- Reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure.
- Helps reduce blood pressure in people who already have high blood pressure.
- Reduces the risk of developing colon cancer.
- Helps control weight.
- Helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints.
- Helps older adults become stronger and improves balance.
- Promotes psychological well-being.
As we head into the indoor months, Massa recommends adopting a more structured personal fitness plan that utilizes equipment in your home and virtual classes. “You won’t be cutting the lawn every week, so use that time to take a weekly fitness class,” he said.
Most health insurers have a section on their websites with information about rewards and incentives to join a gym or purchase equipment. Massa advises Excellus BlueCross BlueShield members to visit ExcellusBCBS.com and click on the Health and Wellness tab.
“Whatever the season, always keep your fitness goals S.M.A.R.T – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely,” adds Massa. “And remember to have fun!”