Moving your body is an integral part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As you get older, staying active becomes vital to reducing your risk of developing unwanted illnesses or diseases.
As you start to look for ways to add exercises into your daily routine, you may be wondering how much time you should be prioritizing and what kind of activities you should choose.
The CDC recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity to maintain your current lifestyle and health. 150 minutes may seem like a lot but, there’s no reason to panic (1). This equates to roughly 20 minutes of activity seven days a week or 30 minutes of exercise five days a week.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can achieve this goal and make adjustments to your lifestyle.
Aerobic exercises are considered cardiovascular conditioning (2). They help increase our heart rates and decrease our chances of heart disease and high blood pressure. If you’re looking for easy aerobic activities to add to your start doing, you can consider:
- Brisk walking
- Jump roping
These are just a few at-home examples! To get more exercise in your life, make sure you’re blocking out time on your calendar and making an active effort to add workouts that you enjoy into your day.
Prioritizing strength training is just as important as aerobic activities because it allows us to focus on muscle groups and build more muscle over time. The CDC recommends adding strength training exercises at least two or more times a week (3).
If you’re committed to adding more movement back into your day, you'll want to make sure you're finding the time to work out all the muscle groups in your body.
For strength training, it is recommended to do at least 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps of each exercise for that particular muscle group (4). Here are a few things you can do at home:
- Weight lifting
- Resistance band
- Floor workouts
- Online workout videos
If you have access to a gym, there is more opportunity for you to focus more granularly on a particular muscle group and reach your goals over time.
Why do you need to exercise more
It’s no secret that the pandemic has caused individuals everywhere to decrease the amount of physical activity they participate in daily (5). Work from home and online school has us sitting in the same spot for long periods of time. Which can, unfortunately, negatively impact our wellbeing.
There are several health reasons you should be prioritizing more exercise. It can help reduce your risk of developing unwanted diseases or health conditions (6). Exercise can help you manage your weight or promote weight loss.
If you struggle with mental health or insomnia, exercising more can positively impact your mood, boost your energy levels, and provide you with better quality sleep (7).
How to get more activity in a day
We get it, everyone gets busy sometimes. If you don't feel like you have the time for activities in your daily routine, there are things you can do to get your body moving throughout the day.
Here are a few tips:
- Get a standing desk
- Go on a walk during your work calls
- Gardening or yard work
- Chores around the house
- Putting a reminder in your phone to get up and move your body
- Stand up more, sit down less
Remember: Your health comes first and, it's always important to prioritize your fitness throughout the week and day.
Taking the time to modify your daily routine or get your body moving in unique ways is the first step towards the healthier lifestyle you need!