Check out THIS ARTICLE from the European Heart Journal, the findings of which suggest reduced health risks may be attainable through relatively modest amounts of vigorous physical activity accrued in short bouts across the week.
Vigorous activity for 15–20 min/week were associated with a 16–40% lower mortality and further decreases were observed with up to 50–57 min/week.
As always, I am not a physician and this is not medical advice. You should always consult with your healthcare provider prior to starting or changing an exercise program or physical activity.
We all know that it’s important to eat our veggies, get moving, prioritize restful sleep, etc – but I wanted to share some common blocks to living as the best version of ourselves as well as some easy yet impactful habits to upgrade our wellbeing!
Watch out for these pitfalls:
Distraction: It can be easy to become bored & always looking for the next shiny object instead of staying the course, remaining focused & continuing the work you started.
Unrealistic expectations: We all want the quick-fix, but trust me – there’s no such thing. Again, gotta stay the course & put in the work!
Bad Habits: A history of poor choices – food, alcohol, negative thinking, mindless behaviors (hello, scrolling) are big obstacles that require mindful work to overcome.
Try these UPGRADES to improve your wellbeing:
Don’t underestimate the power of an accountability partner! Having someone you trust that you can turn to – whether it’s for encouragement or commiseration is a powerful tool! You may enlist a pal who is on the same place in the journey that you are – OR- ask someone who has been where you are now but is now further down the path to act as a mentor.
Meditation and breath work – I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again – the benefits of even 5 rounds of box breathing are a potent way to decrease cortisol and re-focus on your goals when distraction (see above) starts to rear its ugly head.
Get moving! ANY movement – if you have time for a full workout – go for it! – but even a 5 minute walk or quick stretch can raise your energy level (remember – oxygen is our primary fuel!)
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When looking at risk for cardiovascular disease as well as all-cause mortality, inactivity is a greater risk for both than any other single habit or practice.
The evidence is clear: “when inactive individuals are compared with active individuals, the inactive individuals increase their risk of cardiovascular disease by between 150% and 240%, and individuals who choose to be inactive accept the same increased risk of heart disease as individuals who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day! Unfortunately, 15% of the adult population in the United States still smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, and 60% to 80% are either not adequately active or completely inactive. Thus, inactivity carries the same risk as cigarette smoking a pack of cigarettes per day and is between 4 and 5 times more prevalent! source
So how much exercise do you need? 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, plus 2 days/week of strength training exercise is the general recommendation released by the CDC recently. Always check with your healthcare provider for specific recommendations tailored to your individual needs, and check out the CDC’s general guidelines here.