Many people are intimidated by exercise and to them, it can feel like a chore. An active lifestyle can have negative connotations for people. Some people associate exercise with hyper-competitive athletes and overbearing physical education teachers. They may think the only reason people work out is to lose weight or look a certain way.

However, there are many ways to lead an active lifestyle. It’s essential to live an active life because of the benefits that it provides. Sedentary lifestyles are linked to severe health issues, including Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. By contrast, active lifestyles lead to good physical and mental health. 

It doesn’t take much to get active, either. Research has shown that even simple sedentary behaviors like sitting are related to poor health outcomes. Choosing active options like standing on the subway or bus, walking instead of driving to the convenience store, and standing up once or twice an hour at work can have significant impacts. One classic solution that leads to a more active lifestyle is to take the stairs. After all, stair-stepping is fairly challenging cardio. Avoiding the elevator may seem like a small thing, but it’s actually a great way to improve cardio fitness.

Most doctors would love to see their patients adopt a real fitness routine. Physical fitness can encompass a large number of activities. Walking, jogging, and swimming are the most common and accessible forms of cardio. Some people start to get fit via couch to 5k programs. These programs give individuals the tools to complete their first 5k race.

Of course, not all fitness has to be that competitive, or that intense on the cardiovascular system. Yoga and Pilates classes focus on proper alignment and self-development. The idea is for each person to reach their full potential, not to compete with one another. These forms of exercise are also a great way to improve confidence and posture.

Other activities linked to physical fitness can be communal. Attending dance classes or meetups brings people together around a shared passion. Even something like joining a gardening group can have a healthy and incorporate a social element to it. These activities can also lead to a sense of accomplishment in the same way that some sports do.