5 ways to boost your activity levels


5 ways to boost your activity levels

With the holiday season in full swing, now is the time many of us start thinking about becoming more active.
Angie Hill, senior health and wellness director at Tidelands Health Pawleys Family YMCA has a simple message: Don’t wait.
“If you are feeling motivated to begin a new routine, take advantage of that momentum and get started,” she says. “Plus, starting now will help with holiday stress.”
Here are tips for getting up and moving:

Get a check-up

If it has been a while since you last exercised, it’s best to start with a trip to your physician for a check-up and consultation. That way, you’ll have a better understanding of any health limitations or considerations and can tailor your workout routine to reach your unique health goals.

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“Staying active through regular exercise is one of the best things people can do to support overall health,” said Dr. Sean Nguyen, a family medicine physician at Tidelands Health Family Medicine at The Market Common and medical director of primary care at Tidelands Health. “Regular physical activity lowers your risk for conditions such as high blood pressure and stroke and can improve cognitive function and your overall mental health, as well.”
Tidelands Health is the exclusive health system partner of the YMCA of Coastal Carolina. Together, the two organizations are providing the community with access to a broad variety of services and programs to improve health and wellness.

Make time for exercise

“Find a way to make time for what’s important,” Hill says.
When you feel the urge to scroll aimlessly through social media, instead use that time for push-ups or a walk around the block. Thirty minutes of activity a day, even in 10-minute chunks, will do you good.

Meet with a trainer

A certified personal trainer, such as those at Coastal Carolina YMCA locations, can help you build a workout program specific to your needs and goals. A trainer can check your form and help you limit your risk of injury. Scheduling regular time with a trainer can also keep you accountable on those days when you might otherwise stay home.

Find something you enjoy

Whether you’re lifting weights, swimming or joining a yoga class, you’re more likely to stick with a workout routine that you enjoy doing. So, try a few things and find the activity that keeps you coming back.

Watch what you eat

If you’re trying to lose weight, working out will help, but it’s usually not the entire answer. Most people also need to modify their diet. A healthy workout paired with one less soda can translate into 500 calories a day. Do that every day for a week, and you can lose one pound of fat, Hill says.

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The most important part of any workout routine is getting started, Hill says. And don’t let yourself feel “gymtimidated” in a workout space.
“Everybody has been a beginner at one point in time,” Hill says. “So, use that as motivation.”

Dr. Sean Nguyen is a family medicine physician practicing at Tidelands Health Family Medicine at The Market Common in Myrtle Beach.  A native of Myrtle Beach, Dr. Nguyen speaks English and Vietnamese.

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