Without warning, it creeps up on you. Maybe your jeans are feeling a little tighter in the waist, or the sweater you purchased not too long ago seems to be a size or two too small. Or maybe your feeling “blue,” having trouble concentrating at work or finding yourself feeling tired during the day.
Whatever issues you’re having, the bottom line is that they all could be related to a lack of exercise. But the thought of spending hours at the health club or jogging early in the morning or late at night doesn’t sit well with you. The truth is, you’re not alone. Many people struggle to find the motivation to get their bodies moving with the exercise they need. The good news is that there is a way to get back in shape without the pain of hours of exercise.
Can you spare a half-hour a day?
Yes, just 30-minutes a day is all it would take to get your cardiovascular system going. One-half hour, which if you think about it isn’t really that much time out of your day.
Why 30-minutes? Researches have found that shorter workouts, like a 30-minute exercise period, will leave enough extra energy to keep you physically more active and mentally more alert throughout the day. The researchers also found that men who exercised for 60 minutes a day ended up eating more food in order to provide energy for the longer workout. Ultimately, they lost less weight than those who only exercised for 30-minutes.
If you’ve gained a few pounds, 30-minutes of exercise each day will help you shed that extra weight. Of course, the 30-minute workout each day is perfect to keep your weight stable and to lose a few extra pounds. It also has anti-aging benefits and is good for keeping your cardiovascular system operating at peak levels, as well as your core muscle groups.
If you’re heavily overweight, or you’re training for a marathon or other long distance event, you’ll need a lot more than 30-minutes. But as good as thirty minutes a day of exercise is to help with weight loss, that’s just the beginning. There are many other benefits to that half-hour workout.
Other benefits of 30-minutes of exercise
Walking is probably the best use of your 30-minutes of exercise. There are a few factors that will impact the amount of calories you burn, like how fast you walk and the distance you cover. The slower your pace, the fewer calories you burn.
Walking slowly on a level ground will help the average person burn around 80-100 calories. Step up your pace to a brisk walk and you’ll burn around 180 calories, even 200 calories or more if you’re on an incline.
So what else will you gain from your exercise besides weight loss? Start with your mood – because it will improve thanks to exercising. You’ll be less angry, more relaxed and if it’s winter, you’ll lose those seasonal blues. Plus, walking may boost your creativity as well. Researchers found that walking helped people think more creatively than non-walkers.
Another benefit is staving off chronic illness. Your exercise will help lower your blood sugar level while minimizing your overall risk for developing diabetes. You’ll also lower your blood pressure – by up to 11 points, helping to reduce your risk of stroke by more than 20%.
Another benefit of regular daily exercise is digestive health. Walking helps build abdominal and core muscles, and helps to keep your GI tract taught and healthy, which is a key to keeping you regular.
Mark your calendar
The best way to make sure you’ve mapped out an exercise routine is to put walking on your daily calendar. Find a good 30-minute block of time each day and pencil in your exercise routine. It’s not always easy to get started, but once you begin you’ll wonder why you haven’t done this before. Just don’t let anything distract you – your commitment to 30-minutes of exercise will reap you health benefits for years to come.