Just a few days ago my doctor was lamenting that nobody my age exercises anymore, while encouraging me to get more active. I used the usual excuse, “But Doc, I’m busy!” He explained that people make a mistake in thinking that they need to work out 30 minutes or an hour at a time, or that they have to go whole hog and join a gym or hire a trainer. He said the secret is to think small, and demonstrated how you can do a variety of stretches, for example, using a regular chair and you can do them while you’re on the phone, or even watching TV.
Indeed over half the US population is overweight or obese and only 33.5% of the population engages in regular physical activity (source: National Center for Health Statistics). The most common excuse is “lack of time,” yet we have no problem filling our spare minutes checking Facebook on our phone or skimming a magazine.
Fortunately, Cabot Creamery and Contagion Health have teamed up to make tiny, social bursts of activity easy to fit into your day. Cabot’s sponsored fitness community, “Get Up and Mooove“, is a fun, easy way to make exercise a top priority, one ‘microchoice’ at a time. It turns out you can do 15 jumping jacks just about anytime, anywhere.
Get Up and Move lets you set up a free account, then uses social media sites you already know, like Twitter and Facebook, to send challenge invitations to people you know and love. Each challenge is a simple, two-way pledge: “I will _________ if you will ____________.”
You can do any kind of challenge on Get Up and Move. Examples include walking with your dog, doing a few pushups, playing Wii Fit - even grating Cabot cheese for 15 minutes (hey, it’s a surprisingly good arm workout!). Just finish a few challenges a day, before you know it, you’ll have done the 30 minutes of movement per day recommended by the American Heart Association.
Visit Get Up and Mooove and sign-up. Then I will do 10 pushups if you 10 deep knee bends.
Meet Contagion Health co-founder, Jen McCabe, and hear her thoughts on behavior change, mobile health, and life in a Health 2.0 startup at e-Patient Connections 2010 (September 28-29, Philadelphia).