Let’s say you want to get in shape or simply do something good for your health. If you get exercise on a regular basis, you can make major change. Regular physical activity is one of the most important factors that affects your health and wellbeing. But how much physical exercise is good? And how can you integrate it into your everyday life?

 

Current recommendations for getting enough physical activity on a daily basis

According to the current recommendations of international public health organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) or Germany’s national guidelines to encourage exercise and physical activity, adults should get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activities most days, if not every day, to prevent disease. Moderate physical activity is defined as the kinds of exercise which cause us to breathe somewhat more heavily than usual, such as cycling at normal speed or brisk walking.

The World Health Organization says that to achieve maximal health benefits, every week adults should get at least 150 minutes of aerobic physical exercise (moderate intensity / exercise that causes heavy breathing) or at least 75 minutes of anaerobic physical exercise (high-intensity / fast enough to make you breathless) or a combination of both.

The recommendations published in these international studies universally report that the overall mortality rate of active people is around 30% lower than it is among inactive people1. Even taking little steps can help offset this risk. Look for kinds of exercise that you enjoy, because that will make things easier too.

Tips to get more exercise on a daily basis

1. Say goodbye to elevators and escalators

In the weeks ahead, make a point of taking the stairs every day instead of turning to the “technical support” of elevators and escalators.

2. Take a walk instead of couch surfing

Put off your screen time by a half hour and use that time to take a walk, either alone or with someone else. Not only does this let you get exercise, you help your body relax more effectively.

3. Exercise with others or do a group sport

If you have a hard time talking yourself into getting exercise on a regular basis, find yourself some kindred spirits and make steady dates to go together. Having to be accountable to others and making firm plans can be motivating and help you remain committed.

Regular physical activity is one of the most important factors that affects your health and wellbeing. Deliberately pursuing an active lifestyle helps ward off disease and health problems no matter what your age. Among other things, it helps protect you against cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, osteoporosis and back pain.

Getting exercise and physical activity today

Most of us do not get enough exercise, and there are many reasons why. The primary reasons: more than ever, people today work at desks; cars have become the main means of transportation for a growing number of people; and the use of electronic media is more widespread. As a result, most people these days spend the majority of their days sitting, standing or lying. No doubt you have encountered the problem of simply not having enough time to work out and realizing at some point that you’ve spent too long sitting.

Many people have failed to create time for exercise in their daily lives. Some are simply too lazy, but others have to deal with stress, job-related pressures or physical constraints that demotivate them. But exercise is very healthy, no matter what form it takes, and it is important, no matter who you are. So how much time should we be investing in getting in motion?

Something to consider:

A week has 10,080 minutes, and you are supposed to spend at least 180 minutes of that being physically active. That still leaves you 9,900 minutes for everything else.

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1Brown, W.J., et al., Development of evidence-based physical activity recommendations for adults (18–64 years)., 2012.