You already know that exercise is good for you. What’s not as clear cut is how much exercise, and what kind of “exercise” is the one for you.
WHO, the NHS and the CDC all recommend that adults engage in AT LEAST 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. Let’s break this down:
- When you’re breathing harder but are still able to speak
- Burns 3-6 times as much energy as you would sitting down quietly
- When your body uses oxygen to create energy for your muscles
- No lactic acid accumulation (less muscle fatigue)
In addition to getting at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week we should also do resistance training to build up muscle strength twice a week. But some exercise, even if it is pretty minimal, is better than none, especially for those who are relatively more sedentary. On that note, here are STRONGBEE’s creative tips on how you can be a little more physically active without the need for excessive gym equipment or time.
Recommended STRONGBEE online classes
- Monday, 08.30-09.30: LIIT with Sana Kith and Kin (yoga mat or carpet)
- Tuesday, 15.30-16.15: Momentum (Power) with Odyssey MVMT (no equipment)
- Wednesday, 07.00-07.30: BreakFat Group Class with Oka Tripambudi (no equipment)
- Thursday, 16.30-17.30: Body Toning with Jeje Studio (optional 1-2kg dumbbells, resistance bands)
- Friday, 08.00-09.15: Yoga Around the Globe with Ease Space Yogi (yoga mat or carpet)
- Saturday, 16.00-17.00: Zumba with Sana Studio Cipete
- Sunday, 20.00-21.15: MyoYin Yoga with Debbie (yoga mat or carpet)
Creative habits to start forming
- Take the far-away spot. Walking from the farthest corner of the parking lot will burn a few calories.
- Walk to your next stop. If you take a bus or train, don’t wait at the nearest stop. Walk to the next one. Or, at the end of your journey, get off a stop early and finish up on foot.
- Hang loose. During your bus or train trip, stand and don’t hold on too tightly. You’ll improve your sense of balance and build up your “core” back and abdominal muscles.
- Get into the swing of it. Swinging your arms when you walk will help you reach the brisk pace of 6 km per hour that is the most healthful.
- Walk and talk. Propose to start meetings while walking. Get you and your employees fit. Then finish up at a table.
- Walk while you watch. Soccer mums, dads, and grandparents can circle the field several times during a game and not miss a single play.
- Walk tall. Maintaining good posture — chest out, shoulders square but relaxed, stomach in — will help keep your back and abdominal muscles in shape. Besides, you’ll just look a whole lot healthier if you don’t slouch.
- Get a walking, jogging, or biking buddy. Adding a social element to exercise helps many people stick with it.
- That buddy might have four legs. Several studies have shown that dog owners get more exercise than the canine-less.
- Be part of the fun. Adults shouldn’t miss a chance to jump into the fray if kids are playing on a playground or splashing around in the water. Climbing on the jungle gym (be careful!) and swinging on a swing will strengthen muscles and bones and set a good example.
- Dine al fresco. Tired of eating at home? Skip the restaurant meal, which tends to be heavy on the calories. Pack a picnic. You’ll burn calories looking for the best spot and carrying the picnic basket.
- Hit the dance floor. Exercise doesn’t have to be done in a straight line. Dancing can get your heart going and helps with balance. Dance classes tend to have lower dropout rates than gyms. Or just turn up the volume at home and boogie.
- Wash and dry the dishes by hand. The drying alone is a mini-workout for the arms.
- Hide that remote. Channel surfing can add hours to screen time. If you have to get up to change the channel, you are more likely to turn it off and maybe do something else that’s less sedentary.
- Go swimming. Swimming is great exercise if you have arthritis because the water supports your weight, taking the load off of joints. The humid air around a pool sometimes makes breathing more comfortable for people with lung problems.
- Take a walk in (not on) water. Even people who can’t, or don’t like to, swim can get a good workout by walking through the water. Try walking fast, and you’ll get cardiovascular benefits. Walking in water is a great way to rehabilitate if you’re recovering from an injury and certain types of surgery because the water acts as a spotter, holding you up.
- Don’t e-mail. In the office, get out of your chair, walk down the hallway, and talk to the person. At home, write an old-fashioned letter and walk to a mailbox — and not the nearest one — to mail it.
- Stand up when you’re on the phone. Breaking up long periods of sitting has metabolic benefits. Even standing for a minute or two can help.
- Grow a garden. No matter how green the thumb, the digging, the planting, the weeding, and the picking will ramp up your activity level and exercise sundry muscles.
- Be a stair master. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator whenever you can. It’s good for your legs and knees, and your cardiovascular health will benefit from the little bit of huffing and puffing. Don’t overdo. One flight at a time.
- Think small. Small bouts of activity are better than knocking yourself out with a workout that will be hard to replicate.
A word of advice from STRONGBEE
Regularly engaging in moderate-intensity physical exercise (150 min/week, 30 min/day for 5 days) will keep your body and mind healthy and happy. Don’t pressure yourself to slave to a routine, exercise should be fun not a chore. Try out different classes and adopt new habits, then settle down with the ones you like best.