Step Up Your Fitness in a Matter of Minutes
We've all heard the phrase "No pain, no gain." But do we really need to push ourselves to the point of collapse as part of our exercise routine?
Robert Sallis, MD, says no. It's one of the myths about exercising that scares many people away. It all comes down to 150 minutes of exercise a week. What that is will be up to you.
"It doesn't have to be exhausting," Dr. Sallis advises. "The marathoner is no healthier than the daily walker."
Dr. Sallis says the key is to be flexible in what you do, especially something you enjoy.
"It may be a sport like tennis or walking around the neighborhood," he adds. "But it can also be getting out and working in the yard or garden.
"Even housework like vacuuming, if done right, is exercise."
A common excuse for not exercising is that people just don't have the time to fit it into their busy schedules. Dr. Sallis says that while 150 minutes may seem like a lot, you can break it up into small chunks.
"You don't have to go to the gym every day," he says. "Think about little things you can do, like parking your car ten minutes away from the office."
An energetic 15-minute walk morning and evening Monday through Friday would satisfy the 150 minutes without making you break a sweat. That said, you can also increase the intensity of your activity and get healthier in less time.
"Increase the intensity and decrease the minutes," Dr. Sallis advises. "Try jogging versus a brisk walk. Or if you're working in the yard, pump up the activity level a bit."
As long as you get your recommended amount of physical activity, your body will thank you.