Most adults spend most of their hours at work sitting down and find it hard to have time or energy for exercise.
But recent research has shown that small sessions of exercise could lead to big health benefits.
This means any activity, even small, short bouts, will help protect the heart and prevent several chronic conditions.
Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., M.P.H., FAAFP and American Heart Association’s chief medical officer for prevention, suggest that people who struggle to find time for a separate workout should use any chance to sneak in physical activity throughout the day.
He provides five tips to help busy people do it:
Try to move around the office in simple ways.
For example, people can take the stairs instead of the elevator and park farthest from the door in the parking lot.
They can also convert conference room meetings to walking meetings or they can get up and walk to colleagues’ instead of sending an email.
Use your lunch break to take a walk.
People don’t need to focus on the step count or the minutes, they just need to move more.
Use workplace wellness offerings.
If your company has wellness resources and incentives for employees, make the best use of them.
Try to schedule exercise on the calendar.
If people can add exercise to their calendar, they may treat the scheduled time more like an important meeting.
Find someone who has the same health goal.
Having an exercise partner from work can help keep you accountable and motivated. They may help you keep healthy habits to move forward.
The researcher suggests that it doesn’t matter whether you get activity just for a few minutes or for longer periods of time.
As long as you start exercising, you will get health benefits. If you’re already active, adding more movement can bring more health benefit.
The American Heart Association recommends adults take at least 150 minutes per week of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, or a combination of both types of activities.
People can combine brisk walking, yoga, and gardening together, for example.
In addition, people should use two days every week to do muscle strength training, such as running, jumping rope or swimming laps.
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