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05 September 2011

Why you must schedule time to exercise

Fitness experts have determined that people don't have to work themselves to exhaustion or set aside large chunks of time to reap the benefits.

It would be hard, these days, not to have heard that regular exercise can provide innumerable health benefits and help people enjoy longer, happier and more active lives.

So why aren't more people getting off the couch and moving?

Top exercise excuse: I don't have time

  • Kids six to 17 years old should get about an hour of physical activity every day.
  • Adults 18 on up should partake in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, every week. In addition, at least two days a week they should do muscle-strengthening activities that work all the major muscle groups.

  • Taking a step back and understanding that fitness is as important a priority as other leisure activities, such as television or reading. "We're busy because we choose to do certain things," Ainsworth said. "It's about making different choices."
  • Realising that exercise can be broken into blocks of 10 to 15 minutes that can be fit in throughout the day. Bracko gives the example of soccer moms who take their kid to games. "They don't realise that's a great time to exercise," he said. But for those who do, "instead of standing on the sidelines, they're walking around the field or running intervals or something," he said.
  • Recruiting an exercise buddy who will help maintain motivation. "If you make a date with someone to go on a walk, you don't want to disappoint that person," Ainsworth said.

 
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