Session 5

Chosing an Active Lifestyle

Being physically active is about increasing movement not only with scheduled workout sessions but also by just moving more in your daily life.
Science has linked being inactive and sitting too much with higher risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon and lung cancers, and early death. You can improve your chances of staying healthy by just moving around more.
You can be active anywhere. The place is not important. What is important is finding the time to be active and being active regularly throughout the day.

You’ll be surprised at how easy it can be!


You can Find the time and make it count

We all have busy lives. It seems we have little time for physical activity. But we can find the time. Here are tips on how to make time to be active.

Every day set aside one block of time to be active.


Decide on a good time to set aside 20 to 30 minutes to do an activity you enjoy.


If one block of time will not work, think about trying smaller blocks of time:

– 10 minutes three times a day
– 15 minutes twice a day

Al’s Story


Al’s doctor has asked him to get at least 150 minutes of activity each week, at a moderate pace or more. But he’s a busy guy. On weekdays, Al takes care of his grandkids while their parents are at work. On the weekend, he works at the library. In the evening, he likes to relax by watching TV. Al is having trouble finding time to reach his fitness goal. Al decides to make some changes. These days, he gets up 30 minutes sooner so he can take a morning walk. He lifts hand weights or marches in place while watching TV. He also plays soccer with his grandkids. It’s great exercise for all of them. Plus, it’s fun. Al is finally reaching his fitness goal.

If you struggle with finding the time, you may be surprised at the simple ways that you can include physical activity in your day. When you start looking, you’ll find lots of opportunities to be more active every day.

Hispanic woman exercising to lose weight with kettlebell

Walk for half an hour instead of watching an extra half hour of TV.


Instead of reading a book seated, read while on an exercise bike.


Park far from the entrance.


Get up and move after 30 minutes of sitting.


Dance to your favorite music.


Pace the sidelines at your (grand)children’s sports events.


Play actively with your children or pets for 15 to 30 minutes a day.


Start a new active hobby, such as biking or dancing.


Take a walk after dinner and invite a family member to join you.


Track your steps with a pedometer. Work up to 10,000 steps or more a day.


Walk around whenever you talk on the phone.


Take the stairs and walk up and down escalators.


Walk your dog every day.


When you watch TV, stand up and move during the ads, or do chores.

Source: Heart Foundation

The minutes add up to make a more active you!

Having an active lifestyle means making choices to move instead of to sit. These choices may only take an extra minute or two, but they all make a difference.
When you start counting, you’ll be surprised how the minutes add up. That’s why it’s important to keep track.
Track the minutes so they count:

Use your tracking app to track your minutes of activity each day.


Track activity that you do for 10 mins or more and that is at least a moderate intensity. That means you can talk through it, but you can’t sing through it.


Include everyday activities, like sweeping the floor briskly and mowing the lawn.


If you prefer to track steps, set a goal for at least 10,000 steps per day.


Even if you are already at 150 mins, consider increasing your physical activity further.

Create A Positive Action Plan

How do you plan to get more active and start tracking this week?
During the week, I will:

1. Be active for 150 minutes.

– I will set aside one 30-minute block (or two or more periods of 10 to 15 minutes each), 5 times a week.
– I will plan other activities I like to do that increase my physical activity.
– I will be mindful to move instead of sit whenever it is possible.

2. Plan my activities for the week

– Decide what activities I will do,
– On what days and time I will do them ,
– and for how long,
– Make sure your mins add up to my goal. For example:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Walk for 30 mins, after work.
Tuesday, Thursday: Stationary bike for 20, while watching the news.
Saturday: At least 10 mins of an active chore or hobby (gardening, dancing, calisthenics).

3. Record my weight

4. Keep track of my average daily calories