Incorporating Physical Activity into Your Daily Routine Not as Hard as You Think
You already know that getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each and every day is good for you, but putting that assertion into actual practice is an entirely different matter, right? Contrary to what you might think, making physical activity an everyday habit isn't rocket science. There's no secret code for success waiting to be cracked. In fact, it's something that can be worked into your usual routine with minimal, sometimes no, interruption or adjustment.
The U.S. Surgeon General, the American Heart Association and many other reputable health organizations all agree that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity workout is optimal on most, if not all, days of the week. The good news is that they also all concur that this recommended prescription doesn't have to be taken all in one large dose. While the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) once called for continuous exercise of 20 minutes' duration or longer, new guidelines allow for bouts of physical activity (as few as 10 minutes at a time) intermittently spread throughout the day.
When viewed in this manner, 10 minutes of exercise three times a day becomes a much more manageable goal than 30 uninterrupted minutes. Even the busiest executive and the most stressed-out mom can carve out 360 seconds for the sake of improving his or her physical, mental and emotional well-being. In fact, regular physical activity can even be considered a lifesaving practice. That's because it's been proven to extend life by warding off many chronic and deadly conditions like heart attacks, diabetes and strokes.
Now that the logistics are out of the way, the question becomes: What constitutes "moderate-intensity" activity? In concrete terms, the 30-minute recommendation breaks down to two to three miles of walking a day at a rate of 3-4 miles per hour, or to burning 200 calories per day. This aim coincides with the popular 10,000 Steps program, which can easily be reached with the assistance of a RYP Sports pedometer. Simple things like parking your car farther away from your office or taking the stairs instead of the elevator can quickly add up to that target number.
For those who don't enjoy walking or running, there are many other activities that constitute moderate-intensity exertion, many of which are necessary and/or fun tasks that fit right in with your normal routine. Gardening, raking leaves, mowing the lawn, mall strolling and dancing all fill the bill. In fact, 30 minutes spent playing tag with your kids in the yard burns the equivalent amount of calories as yoga, horseback riding and walking at a pace of four miles per hour on a level surface.
So, before you use the excuse that you're too busy to schedule exercise into your daily grind, reconsider. Play Frisbee with the kids, take the dog for a jog around the block, even get some much-needed cleaning done around the house. In no time flat you'll have reached your intended exercise goal, often without even realizing it!
By Matt Ream © 2005 RYP Sports Inc. All rights reserved.
RYP Sports is a leading retailer of heart rate monitors, pedometers, Timex watches and stopwatches. Unbeatable prices on the widest selection health related products, including yoga mats, yoga DVDs, exercise balls, and step counters on the Web. All items in stock for fast shipping at the BEST prices anywhere. Satisfaction guaranteed.
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