Thirty minutes a day, five days per week. That’s all it takes to improve your health. Research has shown that getting a total of 150 minutes (2.5 hours) per week can improve overall health. I am sure you have heard at least one of the many benefits of exercise. Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can help control weight, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, reduce the risk of some cancers, strengthen muscles and bones, improve mental health and mood, improve your ability to do daily activities and reduce falls, and increase your chances of living a longer life.
If you think 150 minutes a week sounds like a lot of time, don’t worry, you don’t have to do it all at once. Ten minutes at a time is fine! It’s best to spread physical activity out during the week and you can even break it up into smaller chunks throughout the day, as long as you are doing your activity at a moderate or vigorous effort at least 10 minutes at a time. Ten minutes! How simple is that? For example, do squats at at work while waiting for something to print, take the stairs instead of the elevator, work your core during commercial breaks, or do jumping jacks before you take a shower. All of these shorter exercises are simple easy ways to increase your physical activity.
If you aren’t sure about becoming active or increasing your level of physical activity because you’re afraid of getting hurt, the good news is that moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking, is generally safe for everyone. If you have a chronic disease or illness, talk to your doctor about a safe physical activity program. Starting an exercise program slowly and gradually increasing the amount and level of intensity is a smart way to develop a safe and healthy exercise program.
The bottom line is that the benefits of physical activity far outweigh the risks of getting hurt. So go ahead, get up, and be active!