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How to fit activity into your day…and enjoy it.

How to fit activity into your day…and enjoy it.

4 tips from Dr. Cynthia E. Collins

MDLIVE Clinical Medical Director Cynthia E. Collins, MD, is board certified and specializes in family medicine, weight loss, and health and wellness. A member of the American Academy of Family Medicine and Obesity Medicine Association, Dr. Collins is knowledgeable in holistic medical care for all ages.

As the owner of 600 muscles, you were made to move.1 But it can be challenging to fit in enough activity every day. Almost 80% of adults in the U.S. don’t exercise enough to meet the minimum health guidelines.2

The good news is that just a few minutes of activity has immediate, positive effects on your health, says Dr. Cynthia E. Collins, MDLIVE Clinical Medical Director.

“Your body responds to activity fairly quickly. We know regular exercise helps lower the risk for diseases, including cancer and diabetes. But regular movement also helps slow aging and improve your thinking skills, weight, and mental health. And the good thing is that it is never too late to get started”– Dr. Collins

If you’re busy, sit for long periods, or don’t know how to get started, Dr. Collins has ways to make it easier. Here are four tips for enjoying more activity in your day:

Change your mind to change your body

Change your mind to change your body.

Exercise is a mental feat as much as a physical one. Here are some strategies to reframe your thoughts and make exercise a positive activity you want to keep doing:

  • Decide that your health is a priority.
  • Be thankful for the chance to exercise. You don’t “have to” exercise. You “get to.”
  • Find one activity that you enjoy.
  • Remind yourself that every minute you spend moving your body today makes you healthier tomorrow.

MDLIVE talk therapy is a good place to start if you need help to reframe your thoughts. Make an appointment in as little as five days

Change your mind to change your body

Snack (on exercise).

Sneak exercise into your day with a few mini ‘snack’ workouts. Short, 10-minute walks add up toward your daily goal and are easier to fit into your schedule. Snack workouts improve your focus, heart health, and weight.3

Exercise can quickly help you feel happier,smarter, and stronger

Exercise can quickly help you feel happier,smarter, and stronger:

  • Improves your mood by reducing stress, depression, and anxiety symptoms.
  • Sharpens your memory and cognition by creating new blood vessels in the brain.
  • Helps you look younger with an improved skin tone.
  • Keeps colds and other illnesses away.
  • Improves your sleep. Here are 4 ways to help you master your sleep.
  • Helps you burn more fat, even when you’re resting or sitting.

brain

Did you know?

During exercise, your body increases the production of chemicals, including endorphins, your brain’s ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters. Endorphins reduce pain and create a sense of well-being. That’s why you feel calmer, positive, and more self-confident after physical activity. Whether you’re hiking a nature trail, taking a yoga class, or working out, regular exercise helps lower stress, depression, and anxiety symptoms. Get moving for a sense of control over your body and your life!

Change your mind to change your body

Turn up the beat.

Music, especially a high-energy beat, helps you forget you’re tired and sweaty and can increase your endurance by as much as 15%.4 And you may not even realize you’re working harder. That’s why dancing to your favorite song is so much fun – and excellent cardio exercise.

It can be hard to move if you don’t feel well. See an MDLIVE board-certified doctor to get care for possible underlying health conditions

Exercise and do extra physical activity.

Exercise and do extra physical activity.

Is there a difference between exercise and activity? Yes, and they’re both needed. Structured exercise, like hitting the treadmill three times a week, is great. But you also need regular physical movement throughout the day. Especially if you are sitting or inactive for prolonged periods of time every day.

 

The activity doesn’t have to be intense either. Here are a few ways to move more:

  • Stand and stretch every half hour.
  • Change positions often when working (like using a standup desk or sitting on the floor).
  • Go for short walks, outside if possible.
  • Do a snack workout right at your desk, like these

dna

Did you know?

Exercise affects your DNA.

When you sit for prolonged periods of time, electrical activity shuts off in your leg muscles and impairs your gene expression over time. Studies show, however, that even one workout can change the gene activity that improves metabolism, insulin response, and inflammation.5

Bryan Gutierrez