If you’ve ever heard you need to exercise 30 minutes a day – you might be wondering where that number came from. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise for adults each week for “substantial health benefits”1. Breaking 150 minutes down into 30-minute chunks of exercise each day makes that number feel more doable!
The benefits of regular exercise are well-known. Exercise has been shown to contribute not only to physical health, but mental health as well. With all the positive reasons why you should incorporate 30 minutes a day into your routine – how do you get it done to reap important health benefits?
Create an Exercise Schedule
As the saying goes, “What’s scheduled gets done”. When you make daily exercise a priority you will find a way to get it done. This means you have to make time to do it. One way to accomplish this is to block off time in your schedule like you would any important appointment, such as a work meeting or doctor’s appointment.
That way you plan your life around the most important priorities as opposed to just letting it happen when the time is right. This might look like programming alarms into your calendar or booking your gym class ahead of time, like a session at your local YouFit gym.
If you’re able to do it – schedule your exercise routine with a regular day and time. This will make it easier to follow and give you predictability to ensure time gets blocked off for exercise.
Also, having a layer of accountability like a friend to meet up with or a coach who knows to expect you, can be helpful in keeping you on track!
Do Something You Enjoy
When you enjoy exercise, you’ll be able to continue it long term. It may take a bit of experimentation, so don’t be afraid to try things. With such a broad range of different forms of exercise available – you’re sure to find something you love.
Joining a gym like YouFit gives you a variety of options to try out. Love to dance? Then Zumba may be your thing! Enjoy lifting weights? Then, connecting with a personal trainer might be the way to go. Maybe something a little slower paced, like yoga, is a match!
The important thing to remember is don’t get stuck doing something you don’t look forward to. In order to make exercise a daily practice – there must be an element of enjoyment! Find what works for you…
Get Creative with Your Exercise
Everyone has different challenges which make it tough to reach a regular exercise goal. You might have difficulty in carving out that time in your day. Or, perhaps you don’t have access to gym equipment. Maybe both are challenges for you! Whatever the challenge may be – it’s important to adjust your expectations of what 30 minutes of exercise a day looks like.
If this is true for you – remember, there are no rules as to how the exercise happens. You could break 30 minutes in two 15-minute segments or three 10-minute segments. When you reduce the block of time into smaller bits it can become more manageable to fit into a busy schedule.
Also, can you multi-task? Is it possible to participate in a meeting or listen to a conference call while walking at the same time? Can you park farther away in the parking lot from your destination to get in more steps? Can you use the stairs rather than the elevator? Take the dog out for a longer walk?
Exercise doesn’t always have to be “traditional” exercise at a gym or in a class. You could also choose to be active with family or friends. For example, you can go hiking, biking or ice skating together. Creating an opportunity for exercise from a social experience is a win-win! You get to connect with people and exercise at the same time.
When you get creative about your exercise solution, you’ll find that exercising 30-minutes a day isn’t hard to do!
Have the Right Exercise Program
To fully benefit from exercise, you should have a variety of cardio, strength, and recovery-based movement. If you overdo exercise – you can do more harm than good and miss out on maximizing the benefits of exercise.
Having a variety of exercise throughout the week can help keep things fresh and exciting, but it can also help give your body a break to recover. When you have the right exercise program and proper recovery – this ensures you have the energy and stamina to keep going for the long haul.
Depending on your individual needs and goals it’s helpful to have a fitness professional like the team members at YouFit to create an appropriate program for you. However, you can also follow the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services guidelines of including at least 2 days a week of “muscle-strengthening activities” along with the recommended 150 minutes a week of aerobic physical activity.
And remember – it’s ok to start from where you are now. If you’re not exercising at all – focus on getting in one to two days a week where you exercise for 30-minutes. Then, as you become more consistent – fit in more days with regular exercise. The more you practice, the easier it will get!
With so many benefits available from regular exercise – finding a way to fit in 30-minutes of exercise a day can be a total game changer for your health! Not sure where to begin? Contact a YouFit gym near you to get started!
- CDC. (2019, September). Physical Activities Guidelines 2nd Edition. Www.Health.Gov. Retrieved December 22, 2022, from https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf