I love exercise! I love being active! It has been a way of life for me for so long.
BUT I recognize that is not the case for everyone.
Believe it or not, as much as I love it, I still have those days when I feel like I don’t have enough time to go for a run or I lack the motivation to get moving. Raise your hand if you hear me?
I know I am probably preaching to the choir when I tell you regular physical activity has so many health benefits! But we can all use a little reminder from time to time. Staying physically active greatly improves our whole health...mind, body, and spirit. Some of the many benefits of being active include:
reduced levels of stress and anxiety,
boosted immune system,
lowered risk for chronic disease,
reduced symptoms of depression,
improved quality of sleep and energy levels, and
increased brain power!
Can you tell I’m geeking out a little over here?
30 Minutes a day is all you need.
We know exercise is good for us. So, what gets in our way of keeping it a priority in our daily lives? Sometimes we overcomplicate it. We lead such busy lives and think if we don’t have an hour or two to dedicate to a long workout then there’s no point in even trying. I’d like to let you in on a little secret...you only need thirty minutes a day to dedicate to being physically active! The American Heart Association, the CDC, and the World Health Organization all agree that the magic number for physical activity is 150 minutes per week. That’s it. 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week, of moderate to vigorous exercise improves our overall health and well-being!
“Time thieves” are stealing precious minutes from us each day.
Some of you may be thinking, “I am so busy, I don’t even know where I would find 30 minutes in my day to exercise.” Here’s the real talk...you have the time. We all have the time. There are just other, less valuable, things taking advantage of our time. Here are just three activities that steal our time each and every day:
Checking your smartphone. The average American spends 171 minutes a day checking their smartphone!
Scrolling social media. We spend on average 144 minutes a day scrolling our social media accounts.
Binge watching This is Us for the tenth time. In 2018, American households spent 450 minutes per day watching TV!
I know I can’t be the only one still shocked when I see numbers like these! We have 1,440 minutes each day to use. When you compare that with the numbers listed above and combine them with everything else we have going on in our daily lives, it’s no wonder we feel like we don’t have enough time in our day to move our bodies. So, let’s do something about it!
5 Ways to carve out 30 minutes a day.
Cut back on your screen time. Step away from your phone, computer, and TV long enough to move your body for 30 minutes. In fact, since exercise can increase energy levels and productivity you might not even feel like scrolling social media or binge watching your favorite TV show after you have spent time being physically active.
Choose movement you actually enjoy. If you don’t enjoy being in a gym, don’t go! Explore different options for being physically active. If you enjoy being outdoors, go for a walk or run around your neighborhood. If you are working from home, put together a list of your favorite bodyweight exercises you can do right in your home office. The more you enjoy what you are doing, the less time you will waste trying to figure out what to do.
Find a buddy. Ask a friend to meet you on the corner to go for a run or a hike. Not only is it fun to exercise with a partner, but it is a great form of accountability! You are less likely to cancel your workout time if you have someone else counting on you to be there, too.
The early bird gets the worm. Get your exercise in first thing in the morning. Starting the day with movement not only energizes you it prepares your mind for the day. Exercising in the morning also prevents you from getting caught up in other tasks later in the day that may cause you to miss out on your movement. Knocking it out early leaves the rest of the day to accomplish everything else on your to-do list. It even leaves a little time in the evening for your favorite show!
Set your intention. If you want to make physical activity a priority then plan that way. Write it in your planner, schedule in your calendar, put a sticky note on your mirror. Thinking to yourself, “I want to workout tomorrow,” isn’t enough. You must plan for it and stick with your plan. Making a plan ahead of time, saves more time in the long run!
When it comes down to it, we all have the time to be physically active at some point during the day. Even if you can’t find one full 30-minute block of time in your day to move your body, that’s okay. Break it up. Take 10 minutes here and there throughout the day to move your body and get your heart rate up. Let’s get moving!
If this article speaks to you and you want to explore more, I would love to set up a time to chat.
Be healthy, be happy, be you!