Strategy #3: Do Less.
To reap the benefits of movement, you might need less than you think. According to the CDC Physical Activity Guidelines, adults should aim to get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week (or 22 to 43 minutes a day).
(Note: Time-crunched folks can also meet the guidelines by doing 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week.)
But exercise isn’t all-or-nothing: Everything counts. If the above recommendations sound overwhelming to you, try these tips.
Break your goal into manageable pieces.
If 20 minutes all at once feels like too much, just break up that 20 minutes into smaller chunks. For example, 20 minutes broken up over the course of the day could look like this:
- 5 minutes of movement 5 times
- 10 mins of movement 3 times
- 5 mins of movement 2 times
Small but effective exercise “snacks” are also called “trigger workouts
Start small and build slowly.
You can also make 20 minutes the goal rather than the starting point. You can even take a year, or longer to work up to 20 minutes. For example, if you start at 5 minutes per day and add 1 minute per day each month, at the end of a year you’d be at 17 minutes a day—and you’ll have built a regular daily habit, something many people never achieve.
Explore the continuum.
If exercise seems like an all-or-nothing kind of thing (you’re either training for an IronMan or in full-on couch potato mode), start thinking on a spectrum. We ask clients to imagine a continuum from 0 to 10. If 10 is "I move all the time and do everything perfectly" and 0 is "I don’t move at all and just lie on the couch till I kick the bucket", what are some options in between?” One way to think about this is to imagine movement as a dial or volume knob. If you were to turn your volume knob up a bit—say a 2/10 or a 3/10—what might that look like? When you explore the continuum you might find a level of activity that feels doable for you.
Stay tuned for Part 4.
Team Maneki Fit