Released in 2005, the guidelines on diet and exercise recommended by the USDA are starting to feel a little outdated. Fortunately, they are in the process of revising the guidelines for 2010. The 2005 guidelines recommend that adults engage in at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. For children, they recommend 60 minutes.
This is just to maintain a healthy heart, for weight loss and weight management, they recommend even more exercise. I love to work up a sweat, but even I have trouble finding 30 minutes to dedicate to exercise on some days.
The number one thing to keep in mind is that your 30 minutes do NOT need to be done all at once—10 minutes here and 20 minutes there, still count as 30 minutes. This idea has always been hard for me to accept, but it’s true. On the flip side, your 30 minutes are really only useful to your health if they are above and beyond your normal routine. Depending on your activity level at work, you may need to step it up a notch. If you take the stairs every day to get to your office, you’re going to have to find another way to boost your activity.
Here are some tips for getting those extra 30 minutes every day:
1. If you’re not already doing it, take the stairs to your office or your dwelling.
2. Fit in a walk on your lunch hour. A 15 minute walk (even if it’s a loop around your parking lot) will get your blood pumping and sharpen your mind.
3. This sounds a little silly, but after a few days you’ll get over it. While going through your morning routine, fit in some squats and lunges as you go back and forth from the bathroom to the bedroom.
4. Try the “Hit Every Muscle in 5 Minutes” routine from Fitness Magazine. They also have some great 10, 20 and 30 minute routines.
5. After work, fit in a walk with your partner, coworkers or a good friend. Not only will the walk boost your energy, but it will bring you closer to your walking partner.
6. Make your chores count! Add lunges to dish washing and turn up the intensity on your mopping.
7. Sign up for a race or join a team sport. It’s amazing how motivating a race date or team sport can be!
You can find more tips for fitting in exercise from the Mayo Clinic here.