The minimum amount of physical activity recommended for good health is 30 minutes of ‘moderate’ activity, five (or preferably, seven) days a week, according to Australia’s National Physical Activity Guidelines, established in 1999. Moderate intensity is defined as a level that causes a “slight but noticeable increase in breathing and heart rate”.
Brisk walking is recommended because it’s inexpensive, and needs no equipment apart from supportive shoes. But you can also mow the lawn, vacuum, dig in the garden, swim or cycle – as long as your breathing and heart rate are sufficiently raised. If you can talk but not sing, you’ve got the pace about right. And you don’t have to do it all in one go. Three 10-minute bouts spread throughout the day is fine.
But please note, these guidelines are for good health and will not alone aid in fat loss.
For those that think they don’t have time for exercise, here are 10 things to help you get motivated to exercise
#1 Turn off the television. The average Australian watches up to 2 hours every day. Use this time to take a walk or get on an exercise bike at the same time.
#2 Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier – Get up a little earlier and get your workout in first thing in the morning. The increased oxygen will revive you in the morning and give you a jump start on your day.
#3 After work or during lunch hour – Trade your briefcase for a gym bag as you leave the office and head straight for the gym. Your workout is a great stress reliever and can be completed in 30 minutes leaving you time for a light lunch or dinner.
#4 At work get up every hour or so – do a few stretches, or walk to get a glass of water.
#5 Instead of emailing, give your message in person.
#6 Take a walk in your lunch break – even if it’s only for 20 minutes.
#7 Walk or cycle to work.
#8 Walk your kids to school and back.
#9 When at home – take the dog for a walk, wash the car, weed the garden.
#10 Instead of chatting with friends on the phone, meet them and go for a walk instead.
Remember, by not taking the time to workout now you don’t just waste time, you waste the quality of your life.
“If you invest the time now into your health, you won’t have to make time to be sick later.”