The NHS’ physical activity guidelines state that adults should complete a certain amount of exercise each week. Whilst the amount varies depending on the type of exercise, around 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week is about right. In reality, 30 minutes isn’t a lot of time, but many of us struggle to fit this into our routine. These suggestions for fitting exercise into your day can help you boost your fitness and maintain a healthy body weight and heart to avoid those preventable visits to the doctor.
Tips for fitting 30 minutes of exercise into your day
Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier
Avoid that temptation to lie in for longer than your recommended 8 hours (particularly at the weekend) and use the time you’d otherwise be sleeping to exercise. It doesn’t have to be anything too vigorous, but a burst of exercise in the morning will help you feel more energised, as well as kick-start your metabolism to help you continue to burn calories throughout the day.
Do it in front of the TV
If you tend to slump on the sofa as soon as you get home from work and put on either trash telly or your favourite programme, that’s time you could be using to exercise. However, you don’t have to turn the TV off, simply work out whilst it’s on. Most programmes last half an hour, which is the perfect amount of time to do your workout. Whether you invest in a treadmill, an exercise bike or take on an equipment-less HIIT workout during that time, you’ll be doing your health a favour.
Break it up throughout the day
If 30 minutes still seems like too much of an effort, why not break it up? You could do 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes during your lunch break and then 10 minutes when you get home. You could use each session to target a different area or combine a mixture of cardio and strength training to keep things fresh.
Schedule the time
You wouldn’t skip a doctor’s appointment or a meeting that’s in your diary without a good reason, so why not schedule your exercise? By making an appointment in your diary, you’ll be more likely to keep it. It will also give you a good way to plan exercise into your day and find room for it.
Set yourself a challenge
A fitness challenge is a great way to find time and motivation for exercise, giving you a goal to work towards. Whether it’s completing so many steps, so many miles on a bike, work out what you can do in 30 minutes and set yourself a reasonable, but challenging goal. Give yourself an incentive to complete it such as a special purchase or even to raise money for charity and you’ll feel more inclined to complete the task.
Why getting active is important
Exercise is important for your health, either for maintaining it or improving it. Exercise helps to burn off excess energy from food and drink and therefore stops us from becoming overweight. Eating the right diet and exercising can also help us to lose weight if we need to. Physical activity is vital for self-care and by taking the time to exercise regularly, you’ll be lowering your risk of developing illnesses and conditions which could require medical treatment such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Self-care can limit your need to seek medical help, as well as free up your local GP surgery for those with non-preventable illnesses. You can find out more about self-care via our website and blog to help you learn self-care basics and ensure you take steps to a healthier lifestyle for a healthy future. Compared to sitting around a GP waiting room, 30 minutes of exercise certainly seems like the better option.