With the AF Civilian Health Promotion Services (CHPS) encouraging increased physical activity through the Spring Into Shape challenge, it’s time to change our mindset towards exercise and adopt a healthier lifestyle. Most adults have negative thoughts about exercise, viewing it as a chore and falling short of daily recommendations. In fact, less than one-quarter of Americans meet the minimum amount of exercise for a healthy lifestyle. To make a lasting change, we need to shift our attitude and find enjoyment in physical activity.

Participate in the Spring Into Shape Challenge

CHPS aims to change our mindset towards exercise through the Spring Into Shape challenge. By participating, you’ll not only improve your own health journey but also impact those around you. To join, enroll on USAFwellness.com, complete an initial check-in, log at least 750 minutes of physical activity, attend the Spring Into Shape class, and attend an in-person check-out event to receive a completion award. For more information on healthy lifestyles and physical activity programs, contact the Robins CHPS office or visit USAFwellness.com.

Small Tweaks for a Healthier Lifestyle

Fitness experts suggest making small tweaks to your day instead of overhauling your entire lifestyle. Follow the 80/20 rule by sticking to nutritious, whole foods 80% of the time and incorporating treats into the remaining 20% of your diet. Your environment can provide natural training equipment for exercise, and rubbing your palms together vigorously in the morning can increase energy levels. Try free exercise classes to find a new hobby and consider having dinner for breakfast to provide more protein for energy throughout the day.

Reframe Self-Care and Explore the Outdoors

Reframe self-care as a necessity and carve out time for it every day. Download apps to help you explore the outdoors and find new routes for exercise. Building muscle through lifting and bodyweight exercises is important, especially for women going through menopause. Remember that 10 is the magic number when it comes to fitness.

The Importance of Consistency and Rest

After a few days of inactivity, the volume of blood plasma circulating in the body decreases, and after 12 days, the total amount of blood the heart pumps every minute decreases, along with the amount of oxygenated blood available to muscles and other cells. Returning to the gym at this point will only result in slight differences in performance. Around the three-week mark, people experience the biggest changes in their ability to get through a workout. The energy produced by mitochondria for muscle cells drops off significantly at this point, making exercise more fatiguing. After eight weeks of inactivity, strength, and muscle size start to decline, maximum weight lifting ability and the number of repetitions decrease, and muscle soreness is more likely to occur.