We all seem to have busier lifestyles than ever before. We juggle work, family, kid’s sports and activities, family time, church, volunteering and occasionally some hobbies we enjoy. Fitting fitness into our lives seems nearly impossible, but there are ways to overcome these obstacles.
The current recommendations for exercise according to the Department of Health and Human Services are that you get 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity or a combination of both and preferably spread throughout the week.
Additionally, they recommend we all add moderate to high-intensity muscle strengthening activity on at least two days per week and spend less time sitting. There are more benefits to be gained by being active at least 300 minutes (five hours) per week, but if you’re just starting out, you should increase the amount and intensity gradually over time (let’s not get crazy, hurt ourselves or end up hating the journey).
So, let’s break that down. 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week is 30 minutes five days a week. 75 minutes of vigorous activity is only 15 minutes five days a week, so to combine them, you could do 30 minutes three days a week and 15 minutes two days a week. By adding strengthening into your two days of high intensity, you’re hitting the minimum recommendations. You decide which days to do it.
30 MINUTES FIVE DAYS A WEEK
If you are just starting out though, you need to be sure you can walk 30 minutes without stopping before you begin adding high intensity exercise into your regiment. Starting with 30 minutes a day of walking just five days a week is not as difficult as you think.
Are you aware that American adults spend more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media, according to a new study by market-research group Nielsen? 11 hours??? That’s insane! I think we can all carve out a little time to take care of ourselves.
But, if it still seems overwhelming to you, then start small. We are a product of our habits. John Maxwell states it over and over in a little different wording but with the same message;
“The secret of your success is determined by your daily habits.”
Changing habits is more difficult for some than others, but it has a lot to do with our brains. The things that come naturally, that are habitual, are things we do over and over. It takes little thought. Think about when you learned to tie your shoes. What a task to overcome. Now, you don’t even have to think about it…your fingers know exactly what to do, but they didn’t learn over night. You had to practice. That works for incorporating fitness into your routine also.
TABATAS AND EMOMS AND AMRAPS OH MY!
So once you can walk 30 minutes a day and you want to add two days of high intensity into your routine so you can spend even less time working out to gain the minimum benefits - say the three days at 30 minutes and two days at 15 minutes that I mentioned earlier…easy! What do you add into your routine? HIIT training - one of my favorites!!
HIIT training is High Intensity Interval Training. There are several forms of it such as Tabatas, EMOMs, AMRAPs and 10, 20, 30s. Each is a different style of HIIT training, and the variety is endless, so you’ll never get bored with your routine.
I’ll give you the basic run down on each. Tabatas are 20 seconds of High Intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest for eight rounds. EMOMs are Every Minute on the Minute you do a set of exercises for a set amount of time. AMRAPs are As Many Rounds As Possible - again, for a set amount of time, usually 15 minutes or so. Then the 10, 20, 30 is 30 seconds of light exercise followed by 20 seconds of moderate exercise, followed by 10 seconds of high intensity exercise for five rounds - rest two minutes - repeat the five rounds.
How can you carve out 30 minutes a day for exercise? Well, a Tabata only lasts 4 minutes - you could do one in the morning, one mid-day and one in the evening and add a 15-minute walk. If you’re not ready for HIIT training, then start with walking 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening and then, during the day do some strength training exercises at your desk, like squats, push-ups, lunges or even crunches. The possibilities are endless. Keep in mind that HIIT training should be done in non-consecutive days.
THE NUTRITION PIECE (WHICH IS ALSO VERY IMPORTANT)
That’s the exercise portion. What about the nutrition piece of the puzzle? Who has time to cook these days? There are many options for that. Services like Emeals help you plan your meals, your shopping list and takes a lot of thought out of the daily/weekly chores associated with cooking meals.
Another great option is meal prep or batching. You do your grocery shopping on the weekend, preferably early before the stores get busy, and batch cook. Cook the meats you are going to want for the week, chop the vegetables you need chopped, sauté, bake, grill and prepare all your food for the week in one day. Then you portion them out so you can take and reheat as needed throughout your week.
For the utmost in simplicity, you can order meals from places like Freshly and IdealMeals (just examples). These companies prepare healthy, organic food and deliver it for you for the ultimate convenience.
YOU CAN DO IT!!
What do you think? Are these the kinds of things you can fit into your schedule? Can you set the media aside for 30 minutes a day and a couple of hours on the weekend to invest in your health? I have a feeling you are more than capable, but if you need any assistance, we at HomeFit are here to serve you!