Discovery Health recommends at least 150 hours per week of exercise for people to be healthy and fit. Now that works out to either 3 days of 50-minute exercise or 5 days of 30-minute exercise. A lot of people will be eager the first day and take a jog or hit the treadmill at the gym but overtime most people struggle to maintain this 150-hour recommendation. Exercise just seems to be an ambition for most and the excuses range from lack of time and lack of energy, but can you really afford not to exercise? What time or energy will you lose by being bed ridden or suffering from some chronic condition that can put you on medication for the rest of your life? It’s worth the effort. So, here’s a few ideas to help “sneak in” exercise into your life
1. Walk to the shops
I once travelled to Eastern Europe and was amazed by how people there just walk everywhere and how fit they look as a result. Very few people drive there, they walk to catch buses, walk to the shops, walk to church you name it. In contrast, I find that here in South Africa drive everywhere even to go get some bread at the grocery store 3kms from home, most people hop into their cars and drive 3kms. So for anything within 10km of your radius, walk there instead of driving unless you are going to buy heavy things but if not, put the car keys down and walk, those minutes you spend walking count.
2.Take the stairs
Make it your preference to always take the stairs wherever you are going especially if it’s 5 or less flights up. People have no problem to wait 5 minutes at the elevator but cannot spend 5 minutes walking up stairs. So, if you don’t have time to go the gym or dedicate the 30 minutes per day then take the stairs and make up some exercise time doing that – it all counts.
3. Park further and walk
Have you seen how the entrances of malls and busy shops are crowded with parked cars and have cars driving around slowly hoping that someone comes out, so they can park? Most people want to be as close to the entrance as possible, so they don’t walk far, well flip that mentality around and don’t join the crowded bays. Park a little further but ensure it’s safe of course, and sneak in some exercise into your day.
4. Walk with your family
If your kids are old enough to handle a short walk, take them out for a walk when you get home and get a chance to talk to them, find out how school was all the while getting some exercise. It doesn’t even need to be a long walk remember you need 30 minutes per day so a short walk of around 3 – 4 kms will tick this box easily.
Let’s be more active people, you don’t need to a fitness guru all you need is 30 minutes of physical activity everyday and something as simple as walking will suffice.