(Augusta, GA) – Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, says Elizabeth Lamb, director of Outpatient Rehab Health Centers at Doctors Hospital. For many people, though, the question is how to fit exercise into daily life.

“We all know that exercise is important. People who exercise regularly lower their risk for diabetes, high blood pressure. They also sleep better, control their weight more easily, and are happier,” Lamb says. “Unfortunately, though, we tend to put exercise at the bottom, if at all, on our to do list.”

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends a combination of aerobic exercise (the type that makes you breathe harder, like walking or jogging) for cardiovascular conditioning; strength training (like lifting weights or calisthenics) for muscle toning, and stretching to improve your range of motion.

“The key is to get moving. Our bodies are made for movement,” Lamb says.

Ready to get moving? Consider these activities:

  • Go to the gym. “For some people, a gym is perfect because it has all the equipment you need to get a full workout under one roof,” Lamb says. “One way to make sure you keep going is to consider meeting a friend there. It’s easy to skip an appointment if you have no accountability. Make plans to meet a friend at the gym regularly and you’ll be more likely to go.”
  • Take the dog for a walk. “This can be an enjoyable way to get moving. Take a couple of short walks a day, and by the end of the week, you will have a couple of hours of exercise,” Lamb says.
  • Use the stairs. “Climbing stairs is an excellent aerobic workout. it helps tone muscles in your calves, thighs and buttocks, and strengthens your bones. Plus, bypassing the elevator is a great way to burn calories, “ Lamb says.
  • Take up a sport. Tennis, running, swimming, golf and other sports are great ways to exercise, and if you enjoy them, all the better. “Find something you love doing and stick with it. Then exercise will be something that is a joy, and not a chore,” Lamb says.