By: Samantha Linhart, who is originally from the Chicagoland area and graduated from Millikin University in 2008 with a B.S in Fitness and Sport. She has worked in all aspects of the fitness and recreation industry, providing activities, motivation and support. Samantha is also a certified Personal Trainer through the National Council on Strength and Fitness and Pilates Instructor. She lives in Baxter with her husband Neil and dog Zeke.
Thirty minutes a day is just 2% of all the minutes we all have in a day. It is this 2% of your day that we are going to focus on this week as we start to learn how to incorporate physical activity into our daily lives. Think about your past week… Have you opted to take the stairs instead of an elevator? Did you rake leaves instead of using a leaf blower? When you went grocery shopping did you park in the last row? If you did GREAT you are already incorporating physical activity into your everyday, how awesome is that!
The benefits of being physically active are numerous, it helps in maintaining and losing weight, it improves muscle tone, it allows us to have a better sleep pattern, it makes our heart, bones and lungs stronger, and it has the ability to reduce back pain and injuries. Physical Activity also lowers our risk for heart disease, and some kinds of cancer. It can lower blood pressure and may help in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
Becoming physically active isn’t just about muscle tone and cardio endurance it is about, your general well-being, one of my favorite quotes is from Legally Blonde “exercising gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy, happy people don’t kill their husbands” and as silly as that sounds it is 100% true, physical activity is just as good for your physical state as it is for your mental state. Physical activity has been shown to increase our energy levels, reduce our stress, and improve our ability to handle life’s ever evolving to do list.
The beauty of these 30 minutes is they can be broken up throughout your day, and you will still receive the benefit of physical activity. Our lives are busy, some of us are reintroducing physical activity back into our daily routine and it will take time for us to reach our goals. Start with small achievable daily goals, go take a 10 minute walk on your lunch break, while the kids are at practice walk 10 more minutes, when you get home after dinner walk to the park and play, walk the dog. Make it something that fits into your life and your routine, something you can achieve daily and the results will come.
My biggest piece of advice for you is find something you love, if you don’t love to run then don’t run. If you love to dance then dance! If it fills your cup you will get it in each day. Make the most of that 2% and enjoy every second of it.