Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tips for fitting exercise into your busy day.

Exercise goes hand-in-hand with good nutrition: it makes weight control much easier and it is also good for your health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a MINIMUM of 150 minutes of "moderate-intensity exercise" (e.g. brisk-walking) each week for adults ages 18-64 (with a physician's clearance of course). That is 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week at a minimumExercising for one hour on most days is better, but to get started, 30 minutes per day can be your goal.

If you are currently not exercising at all, it may feel impossible to fit 30 minutes of exercise into your already hectic day: making lunches for school, commute traffic, work, soccer practice, grocery shopping, homework help, cooking dinner, etc. Here is a solution that may help you get started.

***Solution: squeeze in 3 short 10-minute bursts of exercise throughout the day totaling 30 minutes for the day. As long as you are doing your activity at a moderate or vigorous effort for at least 10 minutes at a time, you will be reaping the important health benefits of weight control and reducing your risks of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. It can also help improve your mood and mental health too. 

Here are some ways you can fit in 
short 10-minute bursts of exercise during your day:

  • Power walk at your lunch break.
  • Walk the kids to and from school at a brisk pace.
  • Work in a building with stairs? Walk the stairs for 10 minutes during your break. 
  • Instead of sitting and watching your child at soccer or ("insert sport here") practice, jog around the field.
  • So, you don't stay and watch your child's sports practice? No problem. Show up 10 minutes early to pick them up and do a brisk walk then.
  • Hint for game days: Most kids need to show up early to their games, meets, matches, or tournaments to warm up. This is a good time to do your jogging or walking.
  • Take a family power walk, hike, or bike ride after dinner.
  • Get a running "Buddy" (especially the 4-legged ones) to join you on your jogs or power walks.
  • Like to shop? Wear your running shoes and do a 10-minute power walk in the mall.
  • Housework is no fun, but with the right intensity, it counts as exercise! Vacuuming, mopping, and mowing the lawn are great ways to get the heart pumping and burn calories. 
  • Instead of watching the kids play, join in! Shoot hoops, jump rope, or play tag. 
  • Rainy day? Turn on the tunes and DANCE like nobody is watching! 
  • Can't miss your favorite show on TV? While watching, do jumping jacks,  push-ups, sit-ups, etc. during the show. 
Remember, if you can do longer than 10 minutes at a time, that is best.
10 minutes, 3 times a day is the minimum. 

Do you have any ideas that work best for you? Post them here!!

Now that you're done reading this, get up and go exercise! 

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