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How to Fit in 150 Minutes of Exercise Each Week

Last updated: June 17, 2019

Staying physically active is one of the best things you can do for your heart and your overall health.

Dr. Oleg Chebotarev, Cardiologist, ThedaCare Cardiovascular Care

“Get plenty of exercise.”

It’s great advice. But what exactly does it mean?

According to the American Heart Association and the Department of Health and Human Services, most adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise each week. That’s about 30 minutes, five days a week.

If that sounds intimidating, fear not. Dr. Oleg Chebotarev, a Cardiologist with ThedaCare Cardiovascular Care, provides a few simple suggestions for working regular exercise into your busy schedule.

Benefits of Regular Exercise

“You don’t need a gym membership or fancy equipment. There many ways to get some exercise without even calling it a workout,” Dr. Chebotarev says. “There are plenty of benefits besides helping keep your heart and body strong.”

The upsides include looking and feeling better. Exercise is also good for your mental health. It’s been shown to help decrease depression and anxiety.

“Staying physically active is one of the best things you can do for your heart and your overall health. And it doesn’t have to cost a thing,” Dr. Chebotarev says. “Whatever your age, regular exercise should be part of healthy living. If you haven’t been active in a while or if you have a health condition, talk to your doctor before you get started.”

If 150 minutes sounds like a lot, break your activity into manageable chunks. Not every workout needs to be long. Small bouts of exercise can lead to big benefits.

Motivation to Move

Here are some ideas to get more physical activity into your life:

Turn on some tunes. Put on your favorite lively music and dance like no one’s watching. (You might want to make sure no one’s really watching, depending on your skill level.) Three or four songs is usually about 10 minutes, so you don’t have to watch the clock.

Join the kids outside. Instead of sending the kids or grandkids outside to play, go with them. Play tag, skip rope, throw a frisbee, or just run around like a kid for a while.

Get a dog (or borrow one). Walking or playing with man’s best friend counts as exercise, and it’s fun for both of you.

Watch TV from an exercise bike. Can’t miss the latest episode of your favorite show? Instead of lounging on the couch, do some pedaling. If you’re just getting started, try pedaling during commercial breaks instead of skipping them or heading for fridge.

Start a family tradition. Take a walk together a couple of times a week instead of watching a movie or playing a board game.

Make it a date. Skip meeting for dinner, coffee or drinks. Instead do some hiking, go ballroom dancing, or play a game of tennis or racquetball.

When you’re busy with work, family, and other responsibilities, it’s easy to forget to exercise or to say, “I’ll do it later.”

“Instead of thinking of it as one more chore you have to do, find ways to incorporate physical activity into your life,” Dr. Chebotarev says. “Once it becomes a habit, you won’t be as likely to forget or make excuses. There are so many ways to stay active. You just need to find something that works for you.”

Ready to get healthy, but don’t know where to start? Schedule an appointment with your primary care provider to design a plan that fits your unique lifestyle.

Tags: exercise get moving physical activity staying active workout routine

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