There’s one action we can take that can produce more intellectual, psychological, health, and career benefits than any other — exercise! WAIT! STOP! Don’t run away. It can be simpler than you think.
According to the Mayo Clinic, and other medical sources, healthy adults should do an average of 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity, such as brisk walking or mowing the lawn, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous activity such as running or cycling. This comes out to roughly 30-minutes a day. (To lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may have to do more, possibly quite a bit more…) Along with the aerobic activity, we should do a bit of strength training twice a week to keep our muscles and bones — including our backs — in good shape.
Fortunately, we don’t have to do the 30-minutes of daily aerobic exercise all at once. We can break our exercise up into things like three 10-minute walks. Or to make it even easier, consider ways to add more exercise into your daily routine, such as:
- Instead of emailing or messaging a coworker about a project, get up and walk over to talk to them face to face.
- Stop mall sharking (driving round and round looking for a close parking space), and park further away and walk a bit more. FYI, research has shown that we actually save time — as well as gas — by taking the first available parking space and walking, rather than circling for a closer position.
- Take the stairs! Even just getting in the habit of using a restroom one or two flights above us can provide several minutes a day of additional exercise.
- Kill two birds with one stone in a way even the Dalai Lama would approve, and do a walking meditation break around the office or the block; mindfully focusing on each step, each breath, the sensations of your body, as you walk for several minutes. It calms our minds and invigorates our bodies.
Just remember walking to the snack machines or coffeehouse for a latte are counter-productive!
Take a few minutes to make a list of ways or times when you can add 5- to 10-minute exercise habit into your day. And please, feel free to share your solutions in the comments below.
And as a bit of inspiration, here’s David Tennant and the Dr. Who cast & crew doing a bit of walking. Enjoy! If nothing else the tune should make your smile. Better still — get up and march along! (See? You just got 3.5-minutes of exercising marching in place.)