It's easy to let physical activity take a back seat to our busy schedules. However, maintaining an active lifestyle is crucial for our overall health and well-being. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week (exercise that increases your heart rate and breathing, but still allows you to carry on a conversation), or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity (activities that significantly increase your heart rate and breathing, you should find it difficult to carry on a conversation comfortably), or an equivalent combination of both. Additionally, muscle-strengthening activities should be done involving major muscle groups on two or more days a week.
Physical activity offers a myriad of benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, better mental well-being, weight management, and reduced risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and certain types of cancer. With these benefits in mind, it's essential to find ways to incorporate physical activity into our daily lives, even with a hectic schedule.
Here are some practical physical activities that can help meet your needs, even with a busy life. Explore different options and find the one you like.
Walking: Walking is one of the simplest and most accessible forms of physical activity. Whether it's taking a brisk walk during your lunch break, walking to nearby places instead of driving, or using the stairs instead of the elevator, incorporating more walking into your daily routine can make a significant difference.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT workouts are a time-efficient way to get your heart pumping and build strength. These workouts typically involve short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief periods of rest. With HIIT, you can achieve a high level of physical activity in a short amount of time, making it ideal for busy individuals.
Desk Exercises: For those with sedentary jobs, incorporating desk exercises can help break up long periods of sitting. Simple activities like leg lifts, chair squats, or stretching can be done discreetly throughout the workday.
Cycling: Cycling is a great way to incorporate physical activity into your daily commute or leisure time. Consider biking to work or running errands on a bicycle instead of driving.
Home Workouts: With the convenience of online workout videos and fitness apps, it's easier than ever to fit in a workout at home. Whether it's a 20-minute yoga session in the morning or a quick bodyweight workout in the evening, home workouts can be tailored to fit even the busiest of schedules.
Incorporating physical activity into a busy lifestyle requires creativity and commitment. Here are some tips to help make it a part of your daily routine:
Schedule It: Treat physical activity as an important appointment by scheduling it into your calendar. Whether it's a morning workout or an evening walk, setting aside dedicated time for exercise can help ensure it doesn't get overlooked.
Make It Enjoyable: Find physical activities that you genuinely enjoy. Whether it's dancing, hiking, or playing a sport, choosing activities that please you increases the likelihood of sticking with them.
Be Flexible: Recognize that not every day will go as planned, and that's okay. Be flexible with your physical activity routine and make adjustments as needed to accommodate unexpected changes in your schedule. Consistency is key!
So, what are you waiting for? If you haven’t already, start your physical activity adventure today!