Lifting weights and spending hours in the gym isn’t the only way to burn calories and get in shape.
The American Heart Association has a healthy alternative — group activities.
Remember when it was fun to shoot hoops with friends? Throw the baseball around? How about a long walk to chat about world affairs?
These types of activities and many more are good for staying healthy and fit, while providing an alternative to high-stress workouts, according to the American Heart Association.
A guide to good health is available in the office of most physicians. Several general nuggets of advice can save lives.
People of all ages should spend time each day being physically active. Adults should aim for at least 30 minutes each day, preferably more.
To help manage weight, work up to a total of 60 minutes of moderate-intensity activity each day. Children and adolescents should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate activity daily. Any type of physical activity will increase the number of calories burned.
Think about ways to make physical activity a regular part of your lifestyle.
Schedule structured activities into the day, such as exercise classes or recreational activities. Or focus on adding short segments of moderate-intensity physical activity throughout the day. This may include activities that you are already doing, such as gardening or housework. It can also mean easily added lifestyle activities, such as walking to the store, using the stairs or walking the dog.
Other examples of moderate-intensity activities, include walking briskly, dancing, raking leaves and jumping rope — or any activity that uses the large muscles in your arms and legs.
Regularly accumulating at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity over the course of the day can have a positive effect on weight and your health.
There are lots of ways to burn calories and the more you do, the more you burn, according to the Heart Association’s report.
If you haven’t been active in the past, work up to your goal gradually. And check with your doctor if you have any chronic health problems, such as heart disease, hypertension, osteoporosis or diabetes.
Steve Snider, executive director of the Sandusky area YMCA, said people need to find an activity they like and can stick with doing.
“There are so many different things going on. People interested in finding an activity should stop by and pick-up a brochure,” he said. “The idea is to find something that will allow you to stay active.”