You probably know the importance of healthy eating and exercise for weight loss and healthy living. However, we all have busy lives – work, school, kids, housework, etc. – and finding time to eat healthy and exercise isn't always easy. With a great selection of nutritional meal replacement shakes, meal replacement bars, and more, My Neat Health helps make healthy eating easier – even on a busy schedule.
And, here are tips to help you fit exercise into your busy lifestyle as well.
How Much Exercise Do You Need?
According to the Mayo Clinic, you need at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week – or a combination of the two. A general goal is to get at least thirty minutes of moderate physical activity a day, but you may need more if you want to lose weight or meet other specific fitness goals.
Moderate-intensity aerobic activity – which includes swimming, walking briskly (4 mph), or mowing the lawn - raises your heart rate and causes you to break a sweat. The CDC states, "One way to tell if it's a moderate-intensity aerobic activity is that you'll be able to talk, but not sing the words to your favorite song."
Vigorous activity raises your heart rate more and makes breathing harder and faster, and includes activities such as running, bicycling (14-16 mph), and shoveling snow. According to the CDC, "If you're being active at a vigorous level, you won't be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath."
The Mayo Clinic also recommends that you spread your exercise time out over the course of a week. And while more exercise can provide even greater health benefits, even a small amount of physical activity is helpful.
Okay, so now that you know how much exercise you need, here are four tips to help you fit it into your busy schedule.
Make an Exercise "Appointment" With Yourself
When you have a lot on your plate, it's easy to think, "I'll go for a run later – after I finish ___," and before you know it, the day is done, and you're too tired for any kind of exercise. That's why it's so crucial that you make exercise a part of your daily routine. You schedule meetings and doctor's appointments; why not schedule exercising? It's just as important.
Put a block of time on your calendar that you devote to exercising. And don't skip your appointment to exercise for every "urgent" thing that comes along. For example, if you wouldn't cancel a meeting or a doctor's appointment for it, don't cancel your exercise "appointment."
Don't Go it Alone
For many of us, it's easier to break a commitment with ourselves than it is to others. Plus, it's more fun to exercise with someone else!
- Do you like to play softball or volleyball? Then, consider becoming a part of a team and put practices and games on your calendar.
- Find a walking or exercise buddy to help keep both of you motivated and accountable.
- Instead of always meeting friends for dinner or drinks, suggest a walk or a hike.
- Sign up for an exercise class.
- Join a hiking group or a bowling or golf league.
Squeeze Exercise into Your Daily Routine
Any kind of movement can help, so try to fit light exercise into some of your regular routines.
- When you're cleaning the house or working in the garden, try to set a pace that is fast enough to increase your heart rate.
- Ride a stationary bike, lift weights, or stretch while you're watching TV.
- An oldy but good is to park far away from your destination – the grocery store, the gym, etc. – and get in a few extra steps.
- Instead of taking the elevator, take the steps.
- Instead of sending an email, walk to your coworkers' desk to deliver the message.
- If you take the bus to work, get off a few blocks early and walk the rest of the way.
The bottom line… just keep moving whenever possible. You'd be surprised how all the little things can add up.
Sometimes your best-laid plans aren't enough, and that's when flexibility becomes essential.
- Getting thirty minutes of continuous exercise is great, but even shorter bursts of activity can help if that isn't possible.
- Kick up your workout from moderate to vigorous, and it'll take half the time to reap the same benefits.
- If you think you can't go for a walk because it's raining or snowing, head to the local mall for a couple of laps.
- If your gym is closed when you're ready to exercise, find an exercise routine on YouTube to try at home.
If you want a healthier lifestyle, make exercise a priority and check out My Neat Health's selection of nutritional meal replacement shakes, meal replacement bars, and more. And, as always, talk to a healthcare professional before starting any diet or exercise program.