Several studies show sedentary behavior leads to low-grade inflammation Chronic low-grade inflammation contributes to your risk of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes (T2D). Obesity is also considered a chronic inflammatory disease, as adipose tissue produces inflammatory cytokines (termed adipokines) in amounts proportional to its mass. As you can imagine, this would INCREASE your inflammation, thus increasing your risk of disease. But the great news is…Physical activity can moderate circulating adipokine levels and help DECREASE your inflammation, thus decreasing your risk for disease. Do you have to join the gym to get these effects? Run a marathon? Start Crossfit? Go to Hot Yoga? Although these activities are incredible at helping us maintain a healthy weight and improve our inflammation, lower cholesterol and so on… If you are currently a “couch potato”, the level of activity required for the above tasks can be overwhelming. Below is a list of options to increase your physical activity by taking baby steps. The activities below are very effective. Pick a few and try them out! 1. The 10 Minute Walk. WHAT? That can count as exercise? YES! Research shows that even a 10 minute walk per day can slash your risk for early death by 50 percent. The 10 minute walk, done daily, can help reduce blood pressure, maintain blood sugar control and lower BMI (body mass index). The nice thing about committing to a 10 minute walk is that you may feel so great doing it, you’ll go for longer than 10 minutes and SUPER CHARGE your metabolism 2. Park as far away as possible for work, Walmart, mall and more. By parking out in the BOONIES, you can actually increase your number of steps per day exponentially. People who routinely walk 10,000 steps per day enjoy the benefit of having improved BMI, lower blood pressure and less diabetes. You will never regret getting a few more steps on your way to run your routine errands. In fact, your outlook on the day is likely to improve when you get moving. 3. Download a HIIT app. What is HIIT? High Intensity Interval Training. The great news is that you can start with a few minutes per day. HIIT is intervals of intense exercise (as little as 30 seconds) followed by intervals of rest. You can download many free apps that can coach you through as little as a 4 -minute workouts. As you progress you can increase intensity and time to meet your fitness needs. Here are some apps that are FREE and may work for you: J&J Official 7 Minute workout, Nike Training Club, Keelo, HIIT Workouts and Timer. 4. Get a Coach. In order to be successful with a lifestyle change like becoming more active, motivation is required. Although our intentions are great this time of year, our motivation can wane. Being accountable to a coach is a tool that can increase motivation and follow through. There are health coaches that can monitor your progress on a routine basis and help you stay accountable and motivated. They can also provide advice and ideas for meal planning and behavior modification and stress management. To find a Health Coach in our area, call ReNew at 903-255-6398. You can enjoy the benefits of decreased inflammation by incorporating exercise in a dose you can tolerate. Get off the couch!! This could be your year!!!