How Much Exercise is Enough Exercise in Modern Society?

We get it. It’s frustrating. As society grows increasingly more digital why is it that we seem to have less and less time to dedicate towards our fitness goals? This was supposed to be our year. Losing weight and getting more exercise ranks as one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions that people make, and then break. In fact, January has come to be recognized as the “Black Friday” month for fitness studios, gyms, and for personal fitness trainers.

Unfortunately, those numbers regress back to pre-New Year levels by mid-February as society settles back into their “norms” and abandons their resolutions. There are also the effects of a pandemic that just won’t seem to end. There was the Delta variant, then the Omicron variant, and many of us are still a bit reluctant to fully embrace society once again - that means staying home more often than we did during the pre-pandemic days. As it stands now, one out of four U.S. adults are back to spending too much time sitting around watching television and not enough time moving around.

For much of society, it’s difficult to come up with an exercise plan or even a regular routine to get enough physical activity because they just don’t know how much exercise is enough to make a noticeable difference! Even the shortest exercises routines must find a way to fit into the busiest of schedules.

If 2022 is the year you’re determined to finally lose the weight, whether that means working with a personal trainer for the first time or just taking the stairs more often, it’s remarkably simple if you have the discipline. The big question is “how much exercise is enough?”

Before we answer that question, the best news of all is that there are plenty of ways to exercise that are enjoyable and give you that sense of accomplishment afterward – you just may not be aware of them. You may be surprised to identify the wide array of exercise opportunities available to you once you evaluate your lifestyle.

The World Health Organization recommends that people who are healthy make an attempt to get anywhere from 150 and 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every week OR between 75 and 150 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week. If we break that down, that’s a 20-minute bike ride every day or being able to fit in three 25-minute jogs every week. If jogging or bike riding just isn’t your thing (especially in the dead of winter), that’s okay because there are plenty of opportunities for getting exercise in your lives that you may not be taking advantage of.

Set a Timer – Setting an alarm throughout your workday can be very effective in helping you remember to get up and get your body moving. Whenever your alarm goes off, spend two- or three-minutes walking stairs or even doing simple squats in your office. These simple exercises can go miles in helping you achieve your physical quota each week. Remember, any exercise that elevates your heart rate can be considered moderate physical activity and the minutes will add up over time.

Park Further Away – If you’re one of the working professionals that have returned to the office now that we’re trying to put the pandemic behind us, try to make a deliberate effort to park your car further away (or even leaving the car at home if that’s an option). Walking or biking to your day-to-day destinations is another way to rack up those minutes. Walking an extra one hundred yards each day may not sound like it will make much of a difference, but each walk is an opportunity to elevate your heart rate for an extra 5 or 10 minutes. If you can walk instead of drive, these are golden opportunities to add more physical activity to your daily life.

Get Active on Weekends - This is the “weekend warrior” concept. Someone who may not be especially active during the regular week but takes advantage of the weekend to get in those longer exercise routines. There is evidence to suggest that this approach is actually no less effective than spreading out your activities throughout the week. From London to Louisiana, the beautiful outdoors always offers a swath of opportunities to get your body moving in any season. If a daily workout routine isn’t your thing, but you love to get out on the weekends, or if it’s just easier for you to schedule an hour and half outdoors meeting up with a workout buddy or a personal fitness trainer, this is an excellent opportunity to make those weekends count.

Accountability - Perhaps one of the best techniques to help you get enough exercise each week is to plan a consistent, regular date with a workout buddy or personal fitness trainer. Accountability can go a long way in helping you get enough exercise each week, and it has a lot to do with why society is turning to personal fitness trainers in greater numbers. Personal trainers can tell you what to do and how long to do it, all you need to do is show up. Without a personal trainer or workout buddy to hold you accountable, it’s much easier to “blow off” opportunities to exercise. There also some terrific apps on the market for working out with a personal fitness trainer.

Get Enough Sleep - Healthy eating habits and physical fitness are widely recognized as the best ways of combating weight gain but getting enough sleep can also help augment your exercise efforts. It’s been widely acknowledged by experts that those who constantly battle insomnia or those who experience sleep deprivation are more susceptible to unnecessary weight gain. A new study out confirms that people who can get just an extra hour of sleep a night can reduce their daily intake of calories by almost 300.

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