Friday, November 6, 2015

How much do we really need to work out?

I've been working on a lot of educational material for the classes I teach at work regarding exercise and activity.   Here is a charts I made this week. 

For heart health ACSM and the CDC recommend that adults get 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity (push mowing the grass, brisk walking, water aerobics, cycling) per week.  75 minutes of vigorous (jogging or running, intense cycling, kickboxing). 

In addition, we need two (2) 20-40 minute strength training sessions (yoga, free weights, resistance bands) on non-consecutive days and about 10-15 minutes per day of flexibility (stretching).  All this, just to maintain your heart health. 

150 minutes might seem like a lot of time, but hte good news is that it can be broken down into 10 minute increments through the day.  And when you look at an entire week, it really is just a tiny sliver of your time.  1.4% to be exact.

Where did I get these percentages?

1 week = 168 hours
7.5 hours sleep per night = 52.5 hours (31.25%)
30 minutes strength training/2 days per week = 1 hour (0.5%)
150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week = 2.5 hours (1.5%)
15 minutes of stretching/flexibility per day = 1.75 (1.0%)

So...what are you telling me, Kristen?

That saying "there's just no time" isn't really an excuse.  We have 110.5 hours in our week for LIFE - work, family, relaxation...that's 77% of our time.  For LIFE.  If you still feel pressed for time, make exercise time family time.

I'm not saying that I'm not immune to the "I just don't feel like it bug".  But I could find the time if I wanted to.   Sometimes it's not a matter of time, it's what I (we) choose to do with the time.

I work with many people who take advantage of their kids soccer games by walking the sidelines or using practice time to do laps around the park; they change to the school when it's basketball or volleyball season and use the track during football practice.

And when you think about how much time you spent waiting in the lobby during your last doctor's appointment, doesn't spending 3% of you week on exercise seem like nothing in comparison?

**Note:  This chart represents time spent improving or maintaining heart heath only.  If you are on a weight loss program or training for a sport-specific event, the percentage of time spent on exercise may need to increase.

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