West Valley Medical Center - January 21, 2016

At West Valley Medical Center, we understand it can be hard to find time to exercise. But our exercise champions say it's easier than you think if you apply activity into your normal schedule. The following examples are simple ways to turn daily tasks into mini-workouts.

Get more from walking. When life seems too busy and you find yourself walking from one place to another, add lunges, jumping jacks or running in place to make yourself work harder. Additionally, talking while walking increases oxygen to the brain, so go ahead and gab away; it's good for you.

Do crunches during commercials. Watching TV is a great way to wind down for the day and give your mind a rest. Instead of just sitting through a commercial break, use it. Do crunches for the first commercial, jumping jacks for another and lunges for the last.

Park farther away. Instead of searching for the perfect parking spot, park farther away and get some extra cardio in. This will spare you some stress, while getting your walk in for the day. Likewise, getting off the bus a stop or two before your destination on a regular basis adds up to a lot of heart-healthy walking.

Take the stairs. Everything you've heard about taking the stairs over the elevator is true. Using the stairs requires no special skill, equipment or clothing and it burns twice as many calories as walking. Stair climbing is also a 'green' activity; the only energy source used is your energy that's good all around.

Exercise at work. Instead of being glued to your chair, find simple ways to work your muscles. Sit up straight and lift your legs multiple times, flex your abs for 10 seconds at a time and repeat, or use a wireless headset to walk while you make calls. Each of these will get your heart pumping and keep you awake during the afternoon drag.

When you think about moving more with normal things you do, it sparks all sorts of ideas to exercise by just infusing a bit of creativity into your day.

Create a walking club at work, at church, or even on Facebook. This is not only a great way to get healthy, but it's an opportunity to make new friends. West Valley started a walking club this spring and currently has more than 350 employees enrolled. Each member received a water bottle, pedometer and a walking journal to track their progress when they joined. Setting up contestsor incentives along the way are great motivators as well.

To get your exercise plan off on the right foot, consider making an appointment with your primary care provider. Don't have one? We'll help you find the right provider to meet your needs: call (208) 455-3981 or go to westvalleyisbetter.com.

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