Friday, September 19, 2014

Why 30 Minutes of Exercise a Day Will Change Your Life

exercise, 30-minute workouts

Whether it's aerobic exercise, yoga or weight lifting workouts, exercising for as little as 30 minutes a day will change your life.

I promise.

It bears repeating: 30 minutes.  That's it.  In the time it takes you to watch "Modern Family" or an old episode of "Sex and The City" you can squeeze in a workout and save your life.

If you're a relatively healthy adult, there is no excuse.

You don't have to spend hours in the gym, researchers have repeatedly proven this.  I blogged about less being more when it comes to exercise in February.   Gretchen Reynolds outlined reiterated in the New York Times Magazine in a Q & A titled Double the Workout, Double the Benefits?

In a notable study from 2011, people of all ages who exercised very moderately, for about 15 minutes a day, or approximately half of your current regimen, reduced their risk of dying prematurely by about 14 percent, or the equivalent of three additional years of life. Those whose workouts were twice as long — like yours, 30 minutes per day — saw an additional drop in the risk of premature death, but only by 4 percent. Using that data, other scientists have estimated that people who go really big with their workouts, increasing their exercise time from 50 minutes per day to 120 minutes per day — a 140 percent increase — achieve only about a 5 percent added decrease in their risk of dying too young.
 
Exercise beyond a certain level may even be counterproductive. When researchers tracked 52,000 adults for 15 years, those who ran 5 to 20 miles a week at a fairly pokey pace of about 9 to 10 minutes a mile received the optimal mortality benefits, the study authors write. The fastest runners and those who completed the most miles every week did not live significantly longer, on average, than people who didn’t run at all. 

Yes, You HAVE The Time
Every day, I meet women and men every who ask me how I squeeze in my workouts.  I have made it clear that exercise is my "non-negotiable".  I don't give those up.  I get at least five workouts in a week.

weighted hula hoop, hula hoop,
Empower Weighted Hoop - LOVE this
But here's the thing: they aren't always ball-busting, go-all-out-affairs.  Some days it's a brisk walk, a treadmill run, yoga, pilates, hula hooping or a quick weight workout.  

Recently, I was in a time crunch, so I walked 10 minutes to the park with Jordan and the dog.  While she was playing, I jumped rope for about 20 minutes, on and off, and walked back home.  That was a quick workout that also allowed me to spend time with the kid.  She had fun watching me jump rope, as well. 

The majority of us aren't professional athletes, models or actors.  We don't need to "look a certain way" for the cameras or be able to dunk a basketball.  But we DO need our bodies to work for us in every day life: lifting the kids, moving furniture, running up stairs, even getting in and out of chairs. 

A simple 30-minute session of exercise will get the blood flowing, stretch and strengthen your muscles and make you feel better mentally, too.

Great 30-Minute Workout Options
When you're pressed for time, what do you like to do? 

RELATED: Is there such a thing as "negative calorie foods"? An expert weighs in.


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