By Joe Green, Fitness Director at Valley of the Sun JCC
Incorporating exercise activity into our daily routines is a lot less daunting when you have a good idea of what to do. As a professional personal trainer, I have spent the last twenty years coaching others just like you and the number one question remains the same. What should I do when I’m exercising on my own? Since exercise qualifies as continuous movement over a sustained period of time, it makes finding the opportunity to exercise a whole lot easier. Let’s take a look at some options.
Even brief sessions of 20 seconds of stair-climbing (60 steps) repeated three times a day for three days per week over six weeks can lead to measurable improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness. But there are plenty of free and accessible ways to incorporate convenient physical activity into our routines, including:
- Replacing short car trips with fast walking
- Walking up the stairs at a fast pace instead of using the lift
- Leaving the car at the edge of the shopping center car park and carrying the shopping bags for 100 meters (330 feet)
- Try doing three or four “walking sprints” during longer stretches of walking by stepping up your pace for 100-200 meters (330 – 600 feet) (until you feel your heart rate is increasing and you find yourself out of breath to the point that you find it hard to speak)
- Vigorous walking at a pace of about 130-140 steps per minute
- Looking for opportunities to walk uphill
- Taking your dog to an off-leash area and jogging for 30-90 seconds alongside the pup.
- Dancing … Turn up your favorite tunes and dance for 20-30 minutes (feels good)
This type of activity can make it easier to achieve the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity a day. It can also help boost fitness and make strenuous activity feel easier – even for those of us who are the least fit.