It’s no secret that staying fit is a big part of a healthy lifestyle. Being active can help prevent serious health problems like heart disease and high blood pressure. Regular exercise is also a proven stress-reliever that can improve your mood, boost your energy levels, contribute to better sleep and help you maintain a healthy weight.
But when your schedule is packed to the brim with work, errands and more, finding the time to exercise may feel almost impossible. The good news is you don’t always have to hit the gym to get in a good aerobic workout. Even in the hustle and bustle of your daily life, you can find simple ways to stay fit.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that adults dedicate 150 minutes of each week — or 20 minutes every day — to moderate aerobic activity. The CDC also recommends strength training sessions twice a week. That may feel like quite a time commitment, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines moderate aerobic activity as anything that makes your heart beat faster. That means a lot of the activities you’re already engaged in can become aerobic activities — provided you pick up the pace. If you break up your aerobic activities into 10-minute chunks, you’ll reach that 150-minute weekly total before you know it.
Here are some ways to make your everyday activities more aerobic.
- Start with a stretch. Get your day going with some stretching exercises. Toss in a little yoga, some crunches and a few push-ups for good measure.
- Play. Kids and dogs need lots of physical activity, so if you have either (or both), play with them to get your heart pumping. With kids, tag, leapfrog, jump rope, hopscotch and racing are all great games to play. If you have a dog, take him or her on a brisk walk, play tug of war or just romp in the backyard.
- Do your chores. Mowing the lawn and raking leaves are some simple tasks that can become aerobic if done vigorously. Add walking lunges while you vacuum or dust, and practice single balance by standing on one leg while you wash dishes.
- Work out at work. Use your commute to get in some exercise by walking or biking to work. If the length of your commute makes that too difficult, try parking 10 minutes away from the office. Doing so will add two brisk walks to your 9-to-5 schedule. If that’s not an option either, take a couple of breaks every day to walk up and down the stairs of your office building.
- Get off the couch. Unwinding in front of the television at the end of the day can be healthy, as long as you avoid doing so while vegging out on the couch. Set up a treadmill or stationary bike in your living room and exercise while you watch. You’ll barely notice you’re working out!
Another great option is to join Goshen Health's fitness programs. We offer a full slate of fitness classes, ranging from indoor cycling to boot camps. For more information, give us a call at (574) 364-2855.