I’m pretty steadfast in my exercise routine — but not always. Does that sound like you? You’re going strong and then you tend to slack off a bit? The couch looks more enticing and less tiring than the old sports shoes? Especially in these COVID19 times that seem to say, “stay in one place!” What kind of message is that people? Or, are you just thinking about some exercise as you watch TV or scroll through Social Media? I’m not trying to hash your buzz, just a gentle nudge to get you to make your move and get moving!
You may have read my post on the Incredible benefits of walking. It has some great info, but I’m taking it up a notch, realizing that not everyone likes to walk. So, let’s name a few other moving targets. Biking, walking, dancing (like nobody’s looking 😊), running, skipping, roller blading, jumping rope, hopscotch! Any activity that gets your feet moving! So maybe you hate to exercise! You’ve tried it in the past and you just couldn’t stick with it. Well, let’s take a look at some fun facts that might get you motivated or back on track if you’ve lost that loving feeling (about exercise 😊).
Fun and true facts from the American Heart Association
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), you need to get 150 minutes, 2.5 hours, of moderate to vigorous exercise per week. Don’t leave me! Let’s break that down.
- 21.5 minutes 7 days a week
- 25 minutes 6 days a week
- 30 minutes 5 days a week.
You get the picture. It’s not that bad really. Not too much time and lots of variety in how you can do it. You can even break it up into 10-15 minute sessions. I know change is hard so if you’d like some tips on how to get started, read my blog on Don’t holdback on changing. Also, think of another difficult change you’ve made in your life and remember how it made you feel to follow through. Probably pretty good, right?
So let’s say you make your move and get moving! You crush those 150 weekly minutes!! Way to go!! Congratulate yourself! Celebrate you! Now, say three to six months have gone by. Guess what? It’s time to give yourself a little push and up your exercise game. The AHA says you’ll get more health benefits if you bump your activity up to 300 minutes weekly. That’s 5 hours per week. Again, stay with me and I’ll break it down.
- 43 minutes 7 days a week.
- 50 minutes 6 days a week
- 60 minutes 5 days a week.
Where will you find the time?
Now, stop dead in your tracks! I know what you’re going to say. Where will I ever find the time? Okay, I want to ease into this gently. You’re going to have to give up some of your chair or couch potato time. Now don’t go ballistic on me. I didn’t say ALL of it. I’m not trying to hash your buzz. However, one benefit that immediately comes to mind is your furniture won’t get worn down so quickly and you’ll reap some real savings there. More time saving tips to follow…
But in case you need a little extra help, the AHA has a book titled Fitting in Fitness: Hundreds of Simple Ways to Fit Exercise in your Life (you’ll want to go for the mass market paperback which is only $6.25.This is one of a series of 🙂 in case you need an extra little push.
Why make your move and get moving?
Why make my move and getting moving you might ask? And what about that streaming service WIIFM (what’s in it for me)? Read on to see what the AHA has to say.
It relieves stress, anxiety, anger and depression. Sounds like a great deal to me! Okay, prepare yourself. It’s going to get a bit ugly. If you don’t exercise you lose your strength, slow down, have more aches and pains, and the final blow – it ages you!!! You don’t want that in this anti-aging culture so don’t let that ship sail!
A little bad news and then some good news. If you’re just a slug and get little activity, it increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. Seriously, you do not want to go there! That was intense. Now the good news about exercise.
- It lowers your blood pressure
- Boosts your levels of good cholesterol
- Improves blood flow (circulation)
- Keeps your weight under control
- Prevents bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis
I’m all over those perks! How about you? And remember what I said about aging? It helps you live longer– up to seven years! And if you’re shooting for a 100, you could extend that to 107! More time to boogie!
More benefits of exercise
Movement improves your attitude and outlook which will be a big hit with family, friends and co-workers, especially if you tend to be a bit on the grouchy side.
You feel more energetic so you can get more done.
It helps you sleep better –OMG- a good night’s sleep transforms my whole day into one awesome party!
Movement can help you quit smoking – that’s more time on your hands – you won’t have to take all those smoke breaks anymore, plus you’ll save a TON of money! Bonus! You’ll be a better person to kiss!
Another time saving tip is you may not have to go to the doctor or the pharmacy as often. Now that is sweet!
Now let’s talk about weight loss.
I absolutely abhor diets!! I’ve been on every conceivable weight loss gig in the country (it feels like it anyway) and all I did was lose, gain, lose gain—you get the picture. And somewhere along the way, I learned to be a healthy eater. It’s a good idea to have guidance on healthy eating and the American Heart Association has a great book called: American Heart Association No-Fat Diet: A Personal Plan for Healthy Weight-loss. Now, I read books on healthy eating (like the one above) and have learned to watch my portions and fat intake (healthy fats of course) limit sweets (I allow myself a small dessert once a day, eat my fruits and veggies and get moving!
Let’s talk about calories burned during exercise
I don’t like to counting calories but I like knowing how many I’ve burned. Harvard Medical School has a list of activities and calories burned for every 30 minutes. It’s especially awesome if you’re on the fence about what activity you might like. There are 112 different exercises, plus things like gardening, yard work, home and daily activities, and home repair. They even have calories burned for occupational activities like sitting at a computer, welding, and carpentry. It’s a veritable activity catalogue and you can definitely find something you can do to make your move and get moving.
Here are a few examples from the list. It also depends on your weight. My examples are calories burned for a person weighing 155 pounds. There are other variables too, but I’m going for simplicity here.
- Dancing 223
- Running 335
- Biking 372
- Swimming 223
- Gardening 167
- Mowing the lawn 205
- Hopscotch 167
There’s no excuse for not exercising
Although HMS lists calories for sedentary activities, I’m asking you to skip over those and choose a real moving activity. One that gets you out of a chair, off a couch, out of bed and makes you move. That gets the blood circulating and burns up more than 51 calories (which is what you burn sitting at your desk). As you know, the more calories you burn, the more weight you can lose. But, remember, to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you take in.
Maybe you don’t need to lose weight, but you need to exercise anyway. Remember all those great benefits? More energy, lowers blood pressure, slows the aging process, helps with depression, helps you live longer and prevents bone loss, to name a few. Those apply to you too!
You can do it! Start small and go big!
Start small. Make a goal to get up to 150 minutes per week in a month or two. Start with maybe 10-15 per day 4-5 times a week and then work up to 20 minutes. Next decide how many times a week you’ll exercise. Surely, you can find 15 extra minutes in a day and then as you start to feel better, you’ll naturally increase your time. Heck, you might be running a marathon someday or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro – who knows?
You can do it! Do it for yourself – you’ll be happy you did. And that’s a fact!
Until next week—from my pen to your heart. Don’t forget to email or leave your comment below and inspire us with how you make your move to get moving!
Kathy – from my pen to your heart. ✍️❤️