It may not be top of mind right now but April is ‘Move More’ month and experts says it is more important than ever to create healthy habits and make sure you are exercising and moving your body everyday.
Dr. Mayrene Hernandez, Chief Medical Officer for United Healthcare, says don’t underestimate the power of walking to benefit your health.
She says studies show walking regularly can improve and boost your immune system and help decrease the intensity and duration of a common cold.
She says the goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day, but you don’t have to start there. Begin with small increments of 300-500 steps, she says, and work your way up.
“Why 10,000 steps? When you are active, you actually decrease risk factors for high blood pressure, cholesterol and for diabetes. So these are important health benefits you get from just being active,” Dr. Hernandez says.
She says it’s helpful to always have a goal in mind, and get the family involved too. Having a goal, and achieving it, can also help boost your mood. “It’s so important to remain active and have goals around the activity on your day to day. And not only us but especially if you are a parent, it’s important to set those standards too for your own children,” she says.
She says with the kids home right now it is a great time to incorporate something like a family walk into your routine, or do a dance video with your kids.
She says be conscious of how many steps you are taking around your home, and you can also try things like a standing desk to help keep your body active.
There are many fitness trackers out there to keep track of your steps. Dr. Hernandez says getting 30 minutes of physical activity a day is a good start to create healthy habits.