- Author: Austin Cantrell
- Editor: Emily Harris
Image Source: http://bit.ly/2m4ndUG
It can often be difficult to work exercise into our busy lives. There are many difficulties we must overcome to meet the two hours and 30 minutes a week, or 30 minutes a day for five days a week, of moderate aerobic physical activity as recommended by the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, not to mention the strength or resistance training we need to work in two times a week, and flexibility exercises two to three times a week. Perhaps the most common barrier that's hard to tackle is lack of time. In order to implement an exercise routine into our lives, many of us will need to plan out our day and see where we can fit exercise into our schedule.
Not only does scheduling and planning our exercise help us find the time, it also helps us create a better structured and more concise work out program and makes us more likely to adhere to a well thought out plan, as opposed to exercising on an impromptu basis. By having a plan, you will likely hold yourself accountable because you set aside that time for your exercise. One important thing to remember is that our exercise doesn't have to take place all at one time. If you exercise for 10 minutes three times throughout your day, you will have met your 30 minute requirement for the day.
So, if we exercise for 10 minutes before we go to work, take a 10 minute walking break while at work and exercise for 10 minutes after work, we will meet our recommended amount of physical activity for the day. We can also save time by engaging in vigorous physical activity, which is only required for 75 minutes a week, or 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Examples of moderate activity would be light exercises like walking or gardening, while vigorous physical activity would be running, sprinting or swimming. Typically, you will be able to hold a conversation during moderate activity, but will be unable to sing. During vigorous activity, you will not be able to have a conversation without considerable shortness of breath or pausing.
If you find that you are not motivated to be physically active, find activities that you enjoy and count it towards your daily physical activity time. Spend time with your children playing outdoors or playing sports. Seek social support by joining walking clubs or recreational sports leagues. If you still find yourself short on time or unable to overcome barriers, visit the Center for Disease Control website to see more suggestions for overcoming physical activity barriers.