30 Minutes to Good Health

Sharon Rekieta, Fitness and Wellness Director - 1st July 2013

Have you noticed that how we feel during an event determines our perception of time…for example, if we’re enjoying ourselves at a party, 30-minutes fly by; if we’re stuck in a boring meeting, 30-minutes can seem like hours.

So how do you feel about 30-minutes when it comes to exercising?  Does time fly by so fast that your workout is over before you know it or are you checking your watch every few minutes because it seems that time is standing still?  If you’re in the “fly-by” group, good for you—you’ve most likely found an activity that feels more like fun than work and you probably also feel that 30-minutes of physical activity is well worth your time and effort.  If you’re in the other category and even a brief session of exercise feels like drudgery, investigating why you’re not having fun might help.

When faced with an opportunity to exercise, perhaps you can easily think of more pleasurable options such as watching television, reading a book, or chatting with a friend.  As a fitness-minded solution, how about combining one of those activities with your workout?  Ride a stationary bike while watching TV, listen to a bestseller on an iPOD while walking, or meet a friend at the gym for motivation while weight training.

There are some tasks that we perform that are not that enjoyable; yet, we do them anyway because there are many good reasons why we should.   If you’re searching for evidence that physical activity is worth your time, consider this short list of what a daily 30-minute exercise session can do for you: assist in weight loss, improve cholesterol readings, reduce body aches, restore energy, manage stress, and prevent some cancers.  Select one or two items that are the most relevant for maintaining your good health and use them as reminders of the benefits you’re receiving.    

Maybe you’re goal-focused or the competitive type and sweating just to sweat seems pointless.  What might help your endeavor is working out while supporting a cause that’s close to your heart.  There are many organizations looking for fitness enthusiasts who will join them in their efforts to raise money.  Individuals pay to register for events such as fun runs and bike rides or they collect pledges from family and friends with the promise to log miles as a way to earn the contributions.  Completing a workout with the goal of helping others might be just the motivation you need.

It’s important to note that the simple definition of moderate exercise is engaging in any activity that increases your breathing and heart rate yet still allows you to state a complete sentence without gasping for air.  We’re all familiar with the common forms of aerobic exercise such as walking, biking and swimming; however, yard work, cleaning house and even country-western line dancing fit the definition of moderate exercise.  So think of your barriers to exercising for 30-minutes—are any included in the above examples?  If so, try some of the suggestions—it will be well worth your time.