Fitting Exercise Into Your Day

Regular physical activity is essential for cardiovascular health, weight maintenance and overall wellness. According to the U.S. surgeon general, the average adult should strive to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. However, many professionals feel that their demanding work schedule allows for little time for a consistent fitness regimen. By taking a few small steps, you can incorporate exercise into your daily routine, helping you to burn calories, prevent health problems and boost your productivity.

Doing The Math

Regardless of your weight loss goals, burning calories is an important function of the body. Regular exercise results in a healthier digestive process, more restful sleep, a higher energy level and less stress and anxiety. For optimal results, you should aim to get between 30 and 60 minutes of aerobic activity most days of the week.

While a wide range of activities promote health and improved cardiovascular fitness, more vigorous exercise will bring faster results. Consider these approximate calorie counts used by a 170 pound person:

  • An hour of jogging will burn 540 calories
  • An hour of aerobics burns 460 calories
  • An hour of brisk walking burns 310 calories
  • An hour of weight training burns 230 calories
  • An hour of stretching burns 180 calories
  • An hour of reading burns 100 calories

Keep in mind that 3,500 calories equals one pound of fat. In order to lose one pound per week, you need to create a 500 calorie deficit each day. By evaluating your health and weight loss goals, deciding what types of physical activity fits your preferences and making small dietary changes, you can achieve a healthier lifestyle.

Finding The Time

After putting in a long day at work, the last thing on anyone’s mind is dedicating an hour of downtime to the treadmill. If your current schedule feels too busy for consistent exercise, the recommended 30 minutes a day may seem impossible.

Take a look at your schedule. Are there any time slots that you can fit in exercise? Remember that while fitness centers are wonderful, they aren’t for everyone. If the idea of trudging to the gym after work is keeping you from improving your health, consider other forms of exercise. Join a dance class, invest in a bicycle or roller blades, or explore you city’s walking trails.

If you currently set little to no time aside for exercise, start with small changes. Plan for a 5-10 minute exercise session each day. Gradually build up by adding 10 minutes of exercise at a time until you’ve reached the 30-60 minute recommendation.

While it is ideal to commit to one uninterrupted exercise session each day, some professionals find that it is easier to break their exercise session up into two or three mini sessions each day. The important thing is to build a fitness routine that works for you.

Lifestyle changes can be difficult to make. By gradually introducing small changes, you can improve your overall health and sense of wellness.

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