There is a lot of chatter around what really counts as exercise. The Department of Health and Human Services defines it as any form of movement of the body that uses energy.
What exactly does this mean?
Exercise can include movement we think of in a traditional sense such as walking briskly, cycling or HIIT class, but we should also take into account our day-to-day activities like doing chores around the house. Just note that ‘flights climbed’ stat as you hustle up and down the stairs. Add carrying the vacuum, and you’re golden.
How much exercise do we need?
According to HHS, adults should get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week.
We should also do muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity involving all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.
To see how your activities fit in and for specific requirements for special populations, check out these helpful tools provided by the CDC:
How do I start exercising?
150 minutes may sound like a lot of exercise and a lot of time we don’t have stuffed away somewhere, so I recommend breaking it down by setting a SMART goal each week.
For example: This week I will walk briskly for 30 minutes 5x.
Specific - Clearly stated: Walk briskly
Measurable - On my calendar: 30 mins, 5x/week
Attainable - Yes, I can do that!
Relevant - To my health? Definitely
Timely - I will report back after 7 days
Now it seems doable! Here are more ideas:
Collaborate with your health coach on ways to get the movement in that you need. Start small. Start slowly. The only thing that matters is that you start.