Physical Activity

Over the course of a busy work and home life, physical activity often comes last.  One is often “too busy” or “too tired” from a difficult day at work or at home with family.  It is easy to put off the gym until the next day.

In fact, physical activity may actually improve the day-to-day fatigue.  Studies have shown that 30 minutes of daily general exercise, including walking, can lead to improvements in heart disease, asthma, diabetes, obesity, and overall metabolism.  In addition, exercise also can decrease stress and anxiety.

Check-List/Self-Assessment:

  1. Do you spend extra effort trying to find a closer spot to park?
  2. Do you take the elevator both up and down to your office and/or garage?
  3. Do you drive to the corner store to pick up something?
  4. Do you belong to a gym but haven’t been in weeks?

By answering yes to any of these questions, it is very easy to add some form of physical activity to your life.

  1. Try to walk at least 30 minutes every day.  This walking does not have to be continuous.  It can add up to 30 minutes over the course of the day.
  2. Purchase a pedometer if you are struggling with your amount of walking.  You will see how easy it is to take 10,000 steps a day.

If you are already walking and counting steps, try adding some additional cardiovascular activity to your day.

  1. Twenty additional minutes of exercise on the bike, elliptical, or treadmill with a constant elevation of heart rate can improve exercise capacity.  Try this technique five days per week
  2. Adding progressive resistance training 2-3 days per week can improve muscle strength and improve overall metabolism.

One must also not get discouraged if weight loss is slow with an increase in physical activity.  Remember that muscle weighs more than fat.  You will be improving muscle strength and will thus have a slower weight loss progression.  A good idea is to aim for a 10% weight loss in a 6 month period.

Resources

BMC/BU:
Health and Fitness offers for BMC and BU employees – gym membership discounts and more
Physical Therapy at BMC – full service physical therapy to help recover from sports injuries
Yoga classes are held every Tuesday and Thursday from 6-7:15 pm in the lower level of the Moakley Building
Qigong/Tai Chi classes are held Wednesdays from 4-5:30 pm in Moakley lower level
Healthy steps – exercise group for people with chronic conditions 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month from 4:30-5:30 pm in Moakley lower level
Discounts for BMC employes – overview of the Working Advantage discount network
Walk 10K steps a day – mindfully – part of the BMC Wellness Challenge
Hubway Bicycle Share – BMC and BUMC employees and students are eligible for a discounted Hubway membership. The bikes can be used from Boston, Somerville, Brookline, and Cambridge

Off Campus:
Ryan Center for Sports Medicine – Primary care sports medicine trained physicians and Orthopedic surgeons offer an array of services for evaluation and treatment of sports related injuries or problems on the main BU campus. This is staffed by BMC physicians but is a private entity affiliated with BU. 617-358-3400 for appointments
Walking tour maps of Boston – Each self-guided walk has a detailed route as well as distances and descriptions of sights and scenes. Included is BMC/BUMC neighborhood tour map.