30 Minutes Is All It Takes

We are all aware that exercise and good nutrition are beneficial to our health. However, many of us understand this but do not practice it. Perhaps the word "exercise” sounds much too daunting or time is just too sparse. There are two important truths to consider, which may support a mindset of actually wanting to participate in improving your quality of life. The first involves a greater understanding that physical activity has a plethora of benefits far beyond physical health. Secondly, there is no pressure to be an athlete or someone who sweats profusely, to be considered physically active.

Studies are increasingly showing that physical activity is linked to many positive factors in our lives. It has been observed to improve many medical conditions as well as depression symptoms. A movement is gaining strength for the prescription of walking rather than medication, as a treatment or as a means of prevention. Social, community, and personal well being are often linked to physical activity and recreation. As the World Health Organization declared back in 1948; "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”  Physical activity is good for the mind, body and spirit. It also supports strong and healthy communities.

If physical activity is a burden or an unpleasant part of your day, it is beneficial to step back and look at what physical activity involves. According to Health Canada and the World Health Organization; it only takes 30 minutes of moderate exercise to incur health benefits. The goal is to participate in 30 minutes of moderate to brisk exercise for 5 days a week. This is a minimum but will result in health improvements.

There are a range of activities that fall into this category. Some of these include gardening, walking, biking, housecleaning, dance, yoga, rollerblading and swimming. All of these activities can be done with friends or can be incorporated into your daily activities without compromising too much time.

It is important to note that the 30 minutes need not be consecutive. For example; your 30 minutes may take a shape such as this: You park your car a 10 minute walk from work and walk to work and back (20 minutes). After work, you spend 10 minutes raking the leaves on the lawn There you have it; a pretty easy way to reach 30 minutes. It is also reccomended to stretch and walk during your 10 minute coffee breaks. This will also improve your mind and spirit state during long work days.

It truly is a minimal commitment of time in comparison to the huge benefits of participating in physical activity. It may involve some creativity but it is important to not solely associate physical activity with sport, competitiveness, high-end equipment or high costs. It is also helpful to find someone to join you for your coffee break walks or to ride your bike with your kids in the afternoons.

If you are ready for life improvement, set your goals at 30 minutes a day. You may start to find that these 30 minutes become the best 30 minutes of your entire day.