Most of us sit a lot these days: Behind a desk, in a car, at a kitchen table, or in front of the television. Consider these statistics:
- Fewer than five percent of adults get 30 minutes of movement daily
- Only one in three adults get the recommended amount of physical activity every week
- Only one in three children are physically active every day
Back in the day — think back to your caveman ancestors — humans almost always stayed in motion. Life required you to bend, squat, crawl, reach, and sprint to function. Even your grandparents moved much more today, gardening and other tasks and chores that life required.
Today, many of us are physically inactive. An average adult spends over a whopping 11 hours staring at screens. Exactly 28 percent of Americans — that’s 80 million people! — aged six or older are physically inactive. Computers, smartphones, tablets, and television consumes much of the time we spent moving even a generation or two ago.
Some sitting you can’t avoid, such as driving or working at your desk. But exercise is that important, for so many reasons. Fortunately, you’ve got plenty of opportunities throughout your day to move more.
The Many Benefits of Exercise
Regular exercise can improve a wide range of problems, including depression, diabetes, and heart disease. Some experts even consider exercise a drug. Consistent, regular exercise promotes longevity, healthy brain function, relaxation, and so much more, all while reducing your risk of disease.
From a chiropractic perspective, exercise helps your heart and lungs to move oxygen and nutrients through the body. Exercise is vital to building muscle, and that includes your lungs and heart. In fact, your body’s number one missing nutrient might be oxygen.
Exercise can also help if you want to lose a few — or more than a few — pounds. When you’re choosing foods from our Core or Advanced Plans, working out can be that missing link to lose weight and keep it off.
Exercise also makes you feel good in the moment. Working out raises endorphins, improving your mood, lowering stress, and even altering how you feel pain.
If all that sounds too good to be true… Well, it’s not. Many, many studies show that regular exercise can improve just about every area of your life!
How Much Exercise Do You Need?
The United States (US) federal government defines physical activity as any form of exercise or movement that requires energy. Some more specific guidelines:
- Aim for at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. That’s 30 minutes a day, five times a week.
- You can always step it up. Do that with a total of five hours every week of moderate-intensity exercise, or 75 to 150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity exercise weekly.
- Strong bones and muscles keep you healthy longer and improve your self-image. To do that, incorporate a few muscle-strengthening activities into your fitness routine. Do weight resistance that involves all major muscle groups, on at least two days every week.
Don’t try this all at once! Spread that exercise out throughout the week.
The good news is that you’re already exercising. Daily life activities including active chores around the house, yard work, and walking the dog are all types of physical movement.
Beyond that, finding a fitness routine can help you get and stay lean and healthy. There is no one-size-fits-all fitness plan. The correct “dose” and the type of exercise depends on the person.
- Your age
- Your health condition
- Your fitness and health goals
Moving from “I should” to “I will exercise”
Saying you’ll work out and actually doing it are two very different things.
Most of us find ourselves motivated to work out, but making those resolutions stick is another matter. In fact, half of all people who begin a workout plan abandon that plan within the first year.
Make this year different. You need the motivation to make an exercise plan work. Putting these 10 strategies into place will help you commit to and maintain your workout plan.
- Find your big why. Your healthcare practitioner might tell you that you need to exercise to lower your cholesterol or manage your blood pressure. Those are valid reasons, but they won’t always motivate you to get out of bed for that 6 a.m. vigorous walk. What do you really want to achieve with exercise? Maybe you want to stay healthy for your grandkids or be able to walk into a room feeling strong and confident. That’s your “big why.” Write it down, visit that “why” daily, and let it motivate you on days you’d rather be watching Seinfeld reruns than hitting the gym.
- Outsmart your excuses. Make a list about what stops you from exercising and maintaining a consistent exercise routine. Is it lack of time? Maybe fitting the gym into your budget feels like a challenge. Or perhaps you feel like you’re too “out of shape” to exercise. We often limit ourselves, and these excuses hold us back. Like anything, the right mindset will help you overcome those hurdles and create a plan that works for you.
- Create a can-do attitude. You wouldn’t forget to brush your teeth or pack your lunch. While those tasks aren’t always pleasant, you know they are good for you. Approach exercise with that same must-do mentality. Schedule it into your day and treat that workout just like you would an important client or family member.
- Be realistic. Getting pumped up about an exercise routine can feel exciting. But too much, too soon lays the foundation for burnout. You might decide you’re going to hit the gym five times a week. Eventually, overloading your workout plan and overwhelming yourself can backfire. Instead, start with smaller, specific goals such as I will walk 30 minutes, three times every week. Slow and steady wins the race.
- Make it fun. Exercise can feel like work. (That’s why we call it a workout.) Some days, it might feel hard or intense. But as any fitness aficionado will tell you, once you get the routine down, exercise can also be fun. How you make it enjoyable depends on your personality. That might involve putting on upbeat music, taking a dance class or hip-hop yoga class, or goofing off with your friends while you exercise.
- But make it a habit, too. Like any good habit, you’ll eventually fall into a routine with exercise. Fitting in a workout will be a part of your day, much like taking a shower or having a meal. Habits take time to create. Once you’ve established exercise as part of your daily routine, you’ll want to sustain that effort so it stays a regular habit.
- Get your friends and family involved. Exercising with other people helps you sustain that momentum on days you’re otherwise tempted to blow it off. Along with that accountability, you get to spend time with those you love and care about. Find someone with similar fitness goals and develop a plan to make those workouts happen.
- Find little moments to do it. Despite your best intentions, carving out 30 minutes or longer into your daily life can feel like a challenge. Find little ways to fit int more movement. Park further away from your office or grocery store. Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever you can. Do bodyweight exercises like pushups or planks during TV commercials. At work, set a timer to remind yourself every few hours to take a five-minute walk around the block. Those little efforts add up throughout the day!
- Monitor your progress. What you measure, you can improve. You’ll find plenty of apps to track your performance. Maybe you’re a pen-and-paper person. Regardless of what works for you, be sure to create celebratory moments when you hit them. Rewarding yourself for your hard work will keep you going to reach higher goals!
- Schedule the time. Lack of time is a major reason that people don’t exercise. Pay attention to how you spend your time. That hour you spend mindlessly browsing social media, shopping online, or wandering through your favorite store? You could spend that time on a workout program.
For many people, that last one is the biggest exercise obstacle. Even though we know the many benefits that regular fitness provides, a primary excuse about why we don’t work out is time.
That’s where a well-coordinated fitness program can help. And that’s why we created MaxT3.
We’ve combined the world’s leading fitness experts and the latest, most cutting-edge exercise science to bring you the most effective fitness program available.
Why? Because MaxT3 elicits a very unique hormonal response in the body. Ultimately, your hormones influence your metabolism. We call this type of exercise metabolic conditioning.
MaxT3 is incredibly effective and fast: You can get all the many benefits of exercise in just 12 minutes a day!
That’s because MaxT3 is built on the T3 principle: Time, Type, and Tempo. You can adjust these three principles to adjust specific results and to create a complete fitness system that works for you.
Imagine all those benefits that regular, consistent exercise creates — building muscle, losing fat, feeling better, and reducing your disease risk — in less time than it takes to find a parking space at your gym. Think of those 12 minutes as a solid investment in yourself.
You can learn more about MaxT3 and order the program here.