If you are not accustomed to exercising or hitting the gym, it can be a little intimidating to say the least. But as science has shown, every minute of physical activity counts. You can still improve your quality of life with some light exercise. Scheduling a quick walk on your lunch break, or some light stretching before bed may be the perfect way to begin.
The Journal of the American College of Cardiology published a study that concluded that sedentary individuals with heart disease were able to improve their survival odds with just a little bit of exercise. In fact, the greatest increase in survival odds was with those who had previously been completing little or no exercise at all.
This research should encourage anyone intimidated by exercise. You can start at any level. As long as you put in the time, your body can receive great benefits including decreased risk for disease, decrease in excess weight, stronger bones and better mood.
For good heart health, the American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity five days a week. This could be walking, mowing your lawn or cleaning. This exercise recommendation can also be met by completing 25 minutes of vigorous activity three days a week such as swimming, running or aerobics.
If beginning a new exercise regimen seems too time consuming, try breaking it up into smaller, more manageable intervals. And if something seems too difficult, modify it to your level. Once you are able to establish a routine and comfort with exercise it will be much easier to increase the level of difficulty. All you have to do is start!
Written by: Meghan McGillvray, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern
1. Journal of the American College of Cardiology
2. American College of Sports Medicine