I’ll probably muse about movement and exercise every once in a while, since it’s such a key foundation to well-being and without regular movement, it’s really difficult to stay healthy, limber, tranquil and physically well. That’s not to say you need to be a powerlifter, a cross-country runner, the person who wins all the bowling league games or even own a lot of sports gear. Barring a doctor’s recommendation to avoid moving, almost everyone can find something to do that qualifies as exercise, movement or working out for the recommended 30 minutes a day.
The American College of Lifestyle Medicine is one of my favorite authorities that recommends “evidence-based approaches to treating and reversing disease by replacing unhealthy behaviors with positive ones” (See more about them in my resources page or here, www.lifestylemedicine.org). Lifestyle Medicine’s pillars of health include the recommendation that:
everyone gets “Regular, consistent physical activity that can be maintained on a daily basis throughout life – walking, gardening, push ups and lunges- can be an essential piece of the optimal health equation”
And getting your 30 minutes a day also helps with other pillars of Lifestyle Medicine, like stress reduction and regular sleep since doing them can relieve stress and make you tired come the night.
So how to fit 30 minutes of movement—or several shorter bursts that add up to 30—into each day?
Remember, I’m not a doctor or trainer or physical therapist, so you may need to consult an expert regarding what you can do to get those 30 minutes.
It’s important to have a number of options so neither heat, nor rain, or cold temps deter you.
Here are some ideas that may fit into your life or be fun new options to try:
1. Talking, hiking or biking. Could be one 30-minute sessions or several shorter chunks, and these can be especially good with a colleague or friend or family member. I had a professor who did all his student conferences/consultations while “walking around”
2. Running, jumping rope, dancing (any and all, incl. square, jazz Zumba, ballroom, club, folk)
3. Opt for the steps instead of the elevator, park a distance from the door, take a walk around the block after each meal
4. If you have access, use an exercise bike, rowing machine or elliptical or go to a boot camp class, spin class, any kind of exercise class (live or online), yoga, tai chi
5. Friends and clients rave about the fun of a sport called pickleball (https://usapickleball.org/what-is-pickleball/), and many community parks offer access to courts/fields for tennis, basketball, handball, racquetball, softball, climbing, volleyball
6. You may have to look around to find places for table tennis, bowling, bocci, horseshoes
7. If water sports appeal, look for pools for lap swimming and/or water exercise classes, or places to kayak, canoe, sail, paddleboat, cast and flyfish
8. At home you may be able to garden, vacuum, mow the yard, play with a child, dig weeds or worms, sweep or mop,
In future musings I’ll share ideas about interesting exercise options and data about how doing exercise helps stave off all kinds of poor health outcomes many struggle with in today’s busy world.