Increasing one’s physical activity is a common goal and New Year’s resolution. Every year people tell themselves they are going to get more steps in, get to the gym more often, or start a new activity. Boosting or maintaining a healthy level of physical activity is imperative for a healthy lifestyle.
The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) recommends that adults, ages 18 – 64, receive a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity per week. The weekly 150 minutes can be achieved in sessions of 10 or more minutes, making it manageable to fit into everyone’s schedules. The CSEP also suggests incorporating strength training into one’s routine a minimum of 2 days per week.
Some benefits of incorporating 150 minutes of physical activity into one’s lifestyle are:
- Improved fitness
- Increased strength
- Improved mental health
- Reduced risks for chronic diseases
- Reduced risk for premature death
For everyone who is thinking that their schedule is already too full and how to achieve 150 minutes of physical activity, it is actually easier than you may think. Breaking it down and thinking about 10 minutes versus 30 or even an hour can start to make incorporating physical activity into one’s life more manageable and enjoyable. Some examples of ways to integrate physical activity into your daily routine include:
- Biking to work
- Walking to work
- Joining a new activity
- Taking the stairs
- Snow shoveling
- Joining a recreational sports team
- Doing something active with the family, such as a hike on the weekend
- Cleaning the house
- Working on core exercises during TV commercials
- Joining a physical activity challenge
- Making plans with a friend to workout at the gym vs meeting for coffee
- Using your coffee and lunch break to go for a walk or pulling out the yoga mat
- Suggest a walking meeting
Staying active should not have to be a chore, it should be something that you enjoy and can make time for in your life. Look out for new activities offered in your community; you might find something that you are keen on adding into your daily lifestyle. Remember, you don’t have to be an athlete or experienced to stay active, you just need to start moving your body.