Regular physical activity has a wide range of benefits for your body. Exercise helps lower your resting blood pressure, supports stress management, promotes chemicals that help you relax, provides a healthy supply of oxygen and nutrients so that your cells can function properly, and much more!
Combining physical activity with a low-glycemic Mediterranean diet may be one of the most effective way to reduce your risk or manage cardiovascular disease. This is because exercise helps build up your muscle mass, allowing your body to better control glucose. With exercise, your body can better control glucose even without using insulin.
During the busy, cold winter months in Canada, it can sometimes be more difficult to integrate physical activity into your daily life.
Here are a few tips for continuing to stay active year-round:
- Find a time to exercise that works for your schedule and body.
- Meet up with a ‘workout buddy’ to help you stay motivated and make it a social experience.
- Integrate physical activity into your normal daily living activities, such as walking to the grocery store or taking a slow, post-meal walk around the block. A walk after a meal has also been found to reduce blood-glucose response to a carbohydrate-rich meal.
- Make the commitment to be consistently active, even if it’s in short periods of activity over the course of your regular day. Wearing a pedometer can help increase your daily step count.
Use this mantra in your daily life: Some physical activity is better than none at all – so get moving! Set a reminder on your phone or computer to stand up and move around if you’ve been sitting for more than 15 minutes. As you become more accustomed to this reminder, make it more dynamic by integrating a short stretching routine into the habit.
Try to avoid putting a lot of pressure on yourself when it comes to physical activity, and make it a normal part of your everyday healthy lifestyle!