We all know that exercise and fitness is important to our overall health, particularly as we age. According to the most recent Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last year, the average adult should be getting a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week, along with muscle strengthening activities on two days a week.
But good news: that doesn’t all need to be done in two or three longer sessions. Short bursts of activity are also highly beneficial.
The updated guidelines break from the old version by stating that even mini exercise sessions, such as a quick jog up the stairs or doing leg lifts during the commercials while you’re watching TV, can add up to better health — provided you get the recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week over all.
In fact, research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that short bursts of high intensity interval training (Hiit) may be more effective for weight loss than longer less intense workouts. See our prior post: But I just can’t find the time to exercise … why not try H.I.I.T.?
Along the same line, we like this infographic from The Fix on Five-Minute Workout Bursts: Home Workouts that Blast Your Brain and Better Your Body! The infographic offers suggestions for various 5-minute bursts that can be done in your home, or almost anywhere. They do issue the caveats to start slowly if you are a beginner, do warm ups before and stretches after, and “If you are not sweating and panting by the end of the five minutes, you have done something grievously wrong.”
For more ideas about how to improve your exercise regime, why not call a coach? Members of ESI EAPs and their family members have access to telephonic wellness coaching as part of their benefits. Coaches can help with nutrition, fitness, stress, smoking cessation and drugs & alcohol. Almost two-thirds of our Members who engage with a Coach ultimately reach their wellness goals. To get started, just give a call or drop an email. And see these additional exercise ideas from our blog archives:
- 8 Ways to Exercise at Work
- Having a workout buddy can keep you on track
- Fit for life: Workouts for different stages in your life
- Get fit and lose weight, trucker style
- The many benefits of yoga include pain relief
- Running for Beginners
Source: Fix.com Blog