Just 30 minutes, 5 times a week can make a big difference.
Aerobic exercise is great for your heart health, but the good news is, you might get a good workout by simply taking a walk. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise, which breaks down to 5 times a week for 30 minutes.
Getting in your daily exercise just got easier!
Here’s how exercise, in general, benefits you. Exercise:
- Helps your body adapt to stress
- Strengthens your heart and helps it work more efficiently
- Helps raise HDL cholesterol
- Builds your endurance
- Can help with weight control
- Raises your metabolism (especially brisk and aerobic exercise)
- Releases endorphins and lowers your stress
- Strengthens your heart as a muscle
- Strengthens all your muscles
- Strengthens your bones, lowering the risk of breaks as we age
- Lowers your resting heart rate and your blood pressure
- Increases insulin sensitivity
Walking is a great way to get the exercise you need
Walking is enjoyable — most people like to walk and most people can. Walking is good for reducing stress, and you can walk with a partner. Overall, it’s a positive way to get moderate exercise. And if you have limitations that prevent you from other forms of exercise, walking is a great option.
Walking at a brisk pace turns moderate exercise to aerobic. “Brisk” means you’re breathing heavier and you break a sweat — walking a hill will do it, as will pumping your arms or taking the stairs. If you’re just starting out, make sure you work up to a brisk walk. (If you’re out of shape or have heart issues, always check with your provider before starting an exercise program.)
How to work 30 minutes of walking into your day
Surprisingly, you can get in your 30 minutes a day by walking 5-10 minutes at a time. You’ll get the same benefit as a 30-minute walk all at once. And it doesn’t matter whether you walk indoors or out.
Here are some ideas to help you work some short walks into your workday:
- Use your work breaks to move
- If you’re in a large building, plot out a 5-10 min walk within your building
- Walk the stairs
- Instead of calling or emailing your co-worker down the hall, get up and walk down the hall and talk to them
- If you have a job where you sit a lot, set an alarm to remind yourself to get up and move every hour or half hour
Walking has a long-term payoff
If you combine regular exercise with sustainable, heart-healthy eating, you WILL see and feel the effects of your efforts in just a few weeks. You’ll build your endurance and energy, and you may even lose a few pounds.
Enlist the help of a Vera Whole Health Coach
Challenge yourself to get in 30 minutes of walking, 5 days a week. Work it into your workday, and watch your health improve. If you could use support and encouragement to get regular exercise, consider talking to a Vera Whole Health Coach. We’ll help you reach your health and wellness goals.