Did you know that when you move your body, even just standing up and walking across the room, your body releases hormones that improve digestion, energy levels, hunger hormones and even your sex hormones? And when you sit, all of these chemical systems in your body sit too. Turn them on, stand up. Turn them off, sit down. It’s almost that simple.
Three Big Generalizations About Fitness, Movement, and Exercise
#1 Move your body every day.
Exercise at a MODERATE pace daily. This can be something as simple as walking. And by MODERATE pace I mean that your heart rate doesn’t go over 180-your age.
So, I’m 47. My heart rate during daily exercise shouldn’t go over 133. For some that may mean walking. For others, depending on your fitness level, that may mean running. How long should you stay at this heart rate zone? 20-30 minutes, or more or less, depending on where you are right now.
If you’re off the couch and haven’t exercised in years, then try working out for 5-10 minutes a day. Seriously. If you exercise several times a week, bump the time commitment up to 30-ish minutes or more. Here’s the kicker…just working out for 20-30 minutes a day isn’t enough if you sit the rest of the day. That’s where this guide comes in handy because you really do have to move during the day, all day long.
Okay, onto the next big generalization.
#2 Strength Train 2x/Week.
No, you don’t have to get into the gym to lift weights. Body weight is amazing. Do squats, push-ups, lunges, sit-ups, and plank movements. Commit 5-10 minutes twice a week to full body movements that improve your strength.
#3 Sprint Occasionally.
Once a week or every ten days or so, sprint. Run full out (or swim or bike) for ten seconds as hard as you can. As if you’re being chased by that bear. Then rest as long as you need to, then sprint again. Repeat with the sprint, rest, sprint for a few sets until you feel like your energy is waning. Usually that means sprinting 5-10 times.
That’s the macro approach. What you fill it in with is up to you. Meaning, how you move your body, when you move it, and how much time, energy, and money you put into your “Get your body moving” program is up to you. If you want to join a CrossFit gym, awesome. If you want to work out in your home and walk around your neighborhood to get your heart rate up, awesome. It’s all good.