One 2012 study revealed exercising at a moderate intensity for 150 minutes per week (or 30 minutes per day, five days per week) as the American College of Sports Medicine recommends, you can expect a 1-to-7 return, meaning seven extra minutes of life gained for each minute spent exercising.
Yet, the bigger issue for most — perhaps even you — might be fitting 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity into an already busy schedule.
Guest post by Mercy Weight Management intern Scott Jamieson.
In my recent post, SMART ways to achieve your health goals, I focused on the importance of proper goal setting and its effect on self-motivation in regard to exercise. Sometimes setting the goals is the easy part. The transition into a habitual physical activity routine, on the other hand, can be challenging.
But it’s certainly doable. Here are four ways to make your exercise plan an actual routine.
#1: Make it a priority
Humans were meant to stay in motion. Neglecting to incorporate at the very minimum 150 minutes of physical activity into your weekly exercise schedule makes you susceptible to cardiovascular disease, metabolic diseases such as diabetes, and premature death. Take the initiative now so that you are conditioned for a healthier, often disease-free lifestyle for years to come.
#2: Make it convenient
Not everyone has the time or energy to drive to the gym after a long day’s work, let alone maintaining a home environment and running the kids to and from activities. Lack of convenience is one of the biggest barriers to an active lifestyle.
So, if the gym isn’t a convenient option, take advantage of what’s readily available to you at home or at work. Take several short power walks during the day. Use a treadmill or exercise bike. Do jumping jacks, climb stairs, dance or jog in place for several minutes at a time. Whatever it takes! Just get moving.
#3: Engage with others
To help with exercise adherence, most people find it useful to maintain their exercise habits by having an exercise partner to help keep them going. If you don’t feel comfortable asking someone right now, take an exercise class near your home where you’ll work out in a group, such as yoga or a boot camp. You may just meet a great exercise partner for future workouts.
#4: Have fun!
Pick up hobbies or daily activities where physical activity can be hidden. If you like to be outside, try including yard work as part of your weekly exercise routine. Did you know that a 155 pound individual can burn close to 350 calories in one hour of pulling weeds? Spring forward into the new season with a healthier yard and a leaner you!
Mercy intern Scott Jamieson is currently finishing his master’s degree in exercise physiology at the University of Akron, where he serves as a teaching assistant for the School of Sport Science & Wellness. Scott, originally from Wilkes-Barre, Penn., obtained his undergraduate degree in exercise science in 2013 from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania prior to moving Akron, Ohio, to begin his advanced education.