07 Feb Use Your Ninja Skills to Build an Exercise Routine
Regular physical activity is essential for cardiovascular health, weight maintenance and feelin’ awesome overall. According to the U.S. surgeon general, the average adult should strive to get at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week—that’s 30 minutes a day (or the time it takes to rewatch The Dark Knight).
But who’s got that kinda time?
Modern work schedules can be demanding, and our committment to our jobs—not to mention our family, friends, hobbies, chores, and (ahem!) rewatching The Dark Knight—makes it difficult to scratch out time for a consistent fitness regimen.
Perhaps we should look at those numbers differently. Break those 30 minutes per day into bite-sized chunks and remove the intimidation of having to take a half hour from our jam-packed schedules.
Here are some tips on how to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, helping you to burn calories, prevent health problems and boost productivity.
First, let’s evaluate our goals
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, higher energy levels and reduced stress. For optimal results, you should aim for 30 to 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 health and weight loss goals, choosing preferential types of physical activity and making small dietary changes, you can achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Now let’s find some 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.
Consider your schedule
Take a look at your schedule: are there any slices of time you can devote to exercise? Devoting 30 minutes or sustained physical activity is the ideal and the end-goal, but to get started and build exercise into a solid part of your routine, you could utilize ten or fifteen minutes here and there. Take a walk during your lunch break. Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
If you’re bound to a cubicle, here’s a collection of 33 ways to exercise at your desk. Some of them may seem silly, but use your ninja skills and sneak in some clandestine exercise.
Respect your preferences
Fitness centers are wonderful, but they can be expensive (unless you’re a Frugal Fitness expert) and the gym atmosphere isn’t for everyone. Consider other forms and venues of exercise. Join a dance class, invest in a bicycle or rollerblades, or explore your city’s walking trails.
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.
Lifestyle changes can be difficult to make. By gradually introducing small changes, you can improve your overall health. Remember, too, that it only takes one month to create a new habit—so why not choose exercise?
Do you have any other tips for Ninja Office Workouts, effective scheduling techniques, or alternative forms of exercise that don’t involve the gym? Let us know!