We all know that exercise is good for our overall health. But why? How much of it do we really need to see a benefit? And what kind of exercise is a good place to start? Keep reading to find out some of the many ways that physical activity, specifically aerobic exercise, can support our health, how much we really need and how to work it into your routine in a way that works.
The American College of Sports Medicine defines aerobic exercise as any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously and is rhythmic in nature . In short, aerobic exercise (aka “cardio”) is any type of workout in which your heart rate and breathing increase, but not so much that you feel the need to stop and rest after a short period of time.
According to the Canadian Society for Exercise and Physiology guidelines, the average adult needs 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week. This can be broken down in many ways, but setting a goal of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity, 5 days per week is achievable for many of us who may not have a full hour to spare.
So, how exactly does aerobic activity help? Some of the many benefits include:
- Improved mental health
- Lowering blood pressure
- Increasing insulin sensitivity
- Increased energy and mental clarity
- Helping to decrease risk of developing cardiovascular disease
…among many other benefits!
What are some accessible ways to fit 30 minutes of aerobic activity into my schedule 5 days per week?
- Searching for local trails in your area using online resources like AllTrails to find new and accessible paths for you and your loved ones (furry friends included) to enjoy.
- Finding a route in your neighbourhood to take a brisk walk, jog or run. A daily stroll in your area can be a great way to end the day and get to know your neighbourhood.
- Finding activities that you sincerely enjoy. Exercise doesn’t have to feel like work! We’re all for the gratification of a tough workout, but remember: enjoyment is key when it comes to building exercise into your life on a regular basis. Whether it’s rollerblading, hiking or your favourite YouTube home workout videos, find time to discover ways to discover aerobic activities that you truly enjoy!
Looking for accessible local activities to fit into your routine?
For those who live near us, the Coquitlam Crunch, the Rocky Point Inlet Trail and Lafarge Lake are some of our favourite places to get a quick outdoor workout in.
Want more local workout ideas? Follow us for updates on our favourite ways to stay active here in the Tri-Cities area!