The most common excuses I hear when it comes to exercising are either “I don’t have a gym membership” or “I don’t have the TIME to work out”. When it comes to your health, these excuses just don’t fly.
While you can keep your weight down with diet alone, it is SO IMPORTANT for you to be working your heart to keep it healthy and strong. And it’s not just your heart that will thank you. Moving does your body good.
The Mayo Clinic advises adults to get 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. 150 minutes divided by 7 days a week is just under 22 minutes a day! While Edward R. Laskowski, M.D., recommends 30 minutes a day, 22 minutes is a great place to start.
Dance like no one is watching
One of my favorite childhood memories was the family walks in the evening after dinner. I loved the crisp air, the sense of community, and the extra talk time with my parents. The other benefit that I was unaware of, my family walk is considered a Moderate Activity…and you’d be surprised how quickly and easily 22 minutes passes by.
Keep your moderate activity simple. No gym membership is required. You can mow your lawn, or wash and wax your car. Go swimming. Rake the leaves. And even though most people I know don’t enjoy doing it, shoveling snow is great for your heart, too!
If it’s too cold outside, you can vacuum your house. Do several laps up and down your stairs. Wash the windows and the floor.
If you had a hidden camera in our house, then you’d see us dance. It’s not pretty, but it’s fun! So crank that music up and dance like no one is watching!
If you can’t do your 22-30 minutes of moderate activity all at one time, try breaking it up. You could do 2-15 minute sessions, or 3-10 “mini workouts” a day. Make the last 10 minutes of your lunch break at work a brisk walk. You can also try the little tricks like, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away in shopping centers, etc.
Don’t forget about stretching and strength training.
Twice a week you should do some sort of strength training. You can pick up some light weights almost anywhere nowadays, or you can head outdoors and do some gardening! Strength training is important as you get older, because it improves bone density. It also improves your posture, coordination and balance.
The minute my feet hit the floor in the morning, I start stretching. For those who are 29 and under, this might not be as relateable for you…but boy, your body sure does start to change the minute you hit the big 3-0 (and it’s not getting an easier!) Touch your toes, and reach for the sky. Bring one foot up behind your bum at a time and stretch your hamstrings. Simple stuff!
I stretch again before bed, and I make sure to ALWAYS stretch before and after a workout (this prevents injuries and is important at any level and every age!) You’ll notice that from stretching you increase your muscle coordination, range of motion, and circulation. As an added bonus then, from your increased circulation, you’ll increase your energy!