By Grace Jennings-Edquist & Jennifer Wong, ABC Life
While some of us are setting big exercise goals at the start of the year, like preparing for a marathon, others are simply aiming to put in the bare minimum needed to stay t and healthy. If your fitness goals for the year are simply to ward o ill health and maintain your day-to-day fitness, you might be wondering: How much exercise do you really need to do? And does walking around the block count? We asked four experts, and we were pleased to hear it’s possible to get results without slogging away for hours each day.
Get to know the guidelines
Australia’s national exercise guidelines suggest adults aged 18-64 should be accumulating 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity (brisk walking cycling at moderate speed, horseback riding, swimming etc.) physical activity or 75 to 100 minutes of vigorous intensity (aerobics, jogging, cycling fast etc) physical activity per week.
Make walking and other incidental activities count
Many exercises can be incorporated into your daily activities. Riding a bike, hiking with friends, or using stairs instead of the elevator are all ways of incorporating physical activity into your everyday routine. If you already have a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps per day, you’re probably already hitting the minimum exercise targets.
Smaller chunks of exercise count
If the idea of a 60-minute slog at the gym intimidates you, you’ll be pleased to hear adults can meet the minimum physical activity requirements by adding short bursts of exercise together. Each burst should be at least 10 minutes long (a brisk walk to the bathroom won’t do the trick. Sorry!).
Build in some muscle strength training
You’ll need to complete two sessions of muscle-strengthening activity (approx. 15-20 min each) per week to meet the national minimum requirements. Strength training includes lifting weights or doing body weight exercises (see exercises opposite).
Spread your activity throughout the week
Being active on a daily basis is most recommended by the guidelines, however if you can only manage two or three sessions, it’s best to spread them throughout the week. It is recommended that you shouldn’t have more than one day back to back where you haven’t engaged in physical activity. Example, if you exercise on a Monday, you can skip Tuesday, but should exercise on Wednesday.
Sit less and move more
By minimizing the amount of time that you spend sedentary (sitting, laying down for long periods), can help minimize your chances of developing health issues such as weight gain, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Limiting your screen time at home can also encourage movement: How about taking your dog for a brisk walk instead of watching that second episode?
Take it seriously
We have to move more. The benefits of exercising don’t stop at weight loss and aesthetics. Exercise has the ability to attract so many health benefits from physical and mental health to asthma and eczema.
Squats work multiple muscle groups. They engage your hips, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and your core muscles just to name a few.
Lunges work your quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves and core muscles. As you get stronger you can hold light dumbbells in each hand if you prefer.
Dips work your triceps, shoulders and upper back. Use a strong and stable chair.
Crunches are great for strengthening your core muscles. For maximum results always keep your core muscles engaged.
- GLUTE BRIDGE
Glute Bridge strengthens and tightens your backside so it’s a great exercise for your backside.
- PLANK PULSE
Plank Pulse is a great exercise for strengthening and defining your core muscles.
- MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS
Mountain Climbers are a great total body exercise. They work multiple muscles, your legs, arms, core, shoulders, glutes as well as giving you a great cardio workout.
- PUSH UPS
Push-Ups also work multiple muscles; pectoral muscles, core, shoulders, triceps and deltoids.
Please try and follow my 20-minute Functional Bodyweight Workout everyday. After a few weeks I promise you will feel fantastic, probably the best you have felt in years. Within days you’ll have more energy, be less stressed, sleep better, and be ready to start your day in a positive frame of mind.
I’m over 60 and I can honestly say that I feel just as alert, vibrant and enthusiastic about life today than I did in my early twenties. I’m a good example that if you embrace the principles of natural living you can live a long, healthy and vibrant life. So what are you waiting for, go to https://carusosnaturalhealth.com.au/articles/true-wealth-is-good-health-20-minute- workout-video and download my 20-Minute Functional Bodyweight Workout Video now. Remember, if you make time for good health, you will always have enough health for a good time! – Frank Caruso
If you have an existing health condition or are pregnant please speak to your healthcare professionals before starting any exercise program.