You know it is important to #Fit30 minutes of active time into your day – everyday – but do you know why? Or how to squeeze it in?
The days are busy with work, kids, responsibilities and family but your health is worth the investment. There are many ways to #Fit30 minutes of activity into your family time or you work environment if you remember to make it fun and encourage others to join you.
Challenge yourself to #Fit30 minutes of any kind of activity in each day.
Start a “move”ment in your family and at your office. Everyday #Fit30 minutes of activity in with the kids by walking the dog, walking to school, play soccer in the yard, go to the park and swing on the swings. Keep it simple by filling an Activity Bin with balls in all sizes, catchers mitts, mini sticks, ring toss, frisbees, skipping ropes, sidewalk chalk and hula hoops. Do stretching in front of the TV, learn some yoga moves together or have a push up and plank challenge for fun. See if you can still do a cartwheel or how long you can skip for without tripping on the rope.
At the office start a lunchtime stair climbing club and create levels and rewards for how any floors you can climb each week, or put on your running shoes and explore the environment around your office. Just 30 minutes has health benefits that stretch far beyond clearing your head or improving your core strength.
Anything that adds up to 30 minutes of activity counts and improves your health in not one, but all of these ways:
Reduce blood pressure
Lower Type 2 diabetes risk
Protect from heart disease
Reduce risk of stroke
Improve heart, lung and muscle fitness
Build muscle mass
Keep bones strong
Reduce risk of arthritis
Boost immune system
What Can You Do for 30 Minutes?
Mix it up! Get in some Cardio, some Strength exercises, some Stretching and Play.
Try for three days per week of higher intensity activity that will increase your cardiovascular (aerobic) capacity such as fast walking, jogging, climbing stairs or bicycling. This type of activity can be done indoors at the gym on treadmills, stair climbers, ellipticals or stationary bikes or outdoors on trails, sidewalks, parks or forest.
Strength training does not have to be extreme weight lifting. Anything that challenges a muscle group through lifting or resistance – triceps, biceps, chest, legs, back or core – is considered strength training. Yoga is excellent for strength as it builds on many of these muscle groups using your own body weight and holding positions for a length of time. Doing a series of push ups will build arm strength, squats or lunges will increase leg strength and plank or sit ups will improve core muscles.
Stretching is important as it increases flexibility and helps avoid injury from cardio, strength training and regular daily activities. When the body is warmed up, such as after a brisk walk, try to stretch any muscles used and hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds. Yoga is also great for flexibility and for learning new techniques for reaching hard to stretch areas.
Yes play. Why should the kids have all the fun? Don’t just send the kids outside to play, JOIN THEM! Grab a basketball and head to the school playground to shoot hoops, take a soccer ball and practice shots on net, go to the pool and get wet, grab a frisbee and have fun. Kids instinctively move when given the simplest of toys – make an Activity Jar like this one and then join the kids or grandkids and remember what it was like to play.
Make being active part of your every day routine and #Fit30 minutes either all at once or throughout the day.
Encourage others to join you, and plan weekend family outings. Explore a hiking trail, a waterfall, a set of climbing stairs, a bike path, a new trail, nearby tennis courts, a yoga class, join a gym, try a strength workout DVD or swim laps at the community pool.