Getting enough exercise daily can be challenging for anyone. The recommended amount of exercise is at least 150 minutes a week at a moderate, aerobic level, or 75 minutes a week at a vigorous level according to the American Heart Association. That breaks down to 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week of moderate exercise. With hectic, busy lives filled with 8+ hours at a job, family life, house work and prepping meals, it’s hard to imagine that there’s even time to sleep! But exercise is so important – not only for physical health, but also for mental health and overall well-being.
I work at VAST as an Account Manager, which means that I am often at my desk. That equates to a lot of time spent being physically inactive. Some steps I’ve incorporated in my life to balance this out are the following:
- Getting up early to work out. I have to be at my desk at 8 AM on a normal work day. I wake up at 5 am to have time to spend 30-45 minutes in a hard workout, eat breakfast, and shower before driving to work.
- Biking to and from work on pleasant weather days. I live in Harvey and work in downtown Marquette, so that’s about a 30 minute bike ride for me. I plan ahead the night before by packing my backpack and getting my bike (and helmet!) ready to ride.
- Going for regular walks outside during work hours. I try to take short breaks during the day to get some sun, which can really brighten my mood. I also spend my lunch hour walking at a good pace down by Lake Superior on the very convenient bike path, or I stroll downtown and visit the shops.
- After dinner, I take my dog around the neighborhood for a 30 minute walk. He lures me into getting out for a walk even when I don’t feel like going!
The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 10,000 steps each day. Step monitoring devices like Fitbits are typically factory set with a 10,000 step daily goal. I’ve increased my Fitbit’s step goal to 12,000 and try to hit that daily to go a little above and beyond.
I don’t always reach my fitness goals, but I try my best. And when I do, I can feel myself being healthier, happier, and more purposeful and confident in my daily life. Being active gives me energy and stamina at my office job, and having a regular routine that incorporates exercise throughout my day has given me significant health benefits. Even when I don’t have time to do everything I wanted to do with my fitness, I try to at least get some in because that is definitely better than doing nothing!
American Heart Association Article: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/American-Heart-Association-Recommendations-for-Physical-Activity-in-Adults_UCM_307976_Article.jsp#.WWekaJWGNNM