Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity every week. But you can reach this minimum target by doing three 10-minute sessions, five days a week.
Physical activity provides a wide range of health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, maintenance of mobility, control of body weight and increased mental wellbeing.
But for many of us, finding the time to fit exercise into a busy schedule isn’t easy. If you find it difficult to spare time for physical activity, don’t give up. You can achieve your weekly minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity by splitting 30 minutes of activity each day into three sessions of 10 minutes.
Moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity means an activity that causes your heart rate to rise, and you to break a sweat: for example, fast walking or cycling.
If you're looking for ways to fit more activity into your day, try these 10-minute workouts:
Physical activity recommendations for adults
- Adults (19-64 years) should do 150 minutes every week.
- Older adults (65+ years) should do 150 minutes every week.
Adults who are overweight are likely to need more activity than the recommended minimum in order to lose weight, and this activity should be combined with diet changes.
Play with the kids
“Go bike riding, play football or use a trampoline,” says Professor Ken Fox from Bristol University’s Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences department. Finding time every weekend to do something active with your kids helps to keep the whole family fit.
Skip yourself fit
Skipping is good for the heart, bones, flexibility and co-ordination. And it's not expensive: all you need is a skipping rope, a pair of trainers and a safe space. Depending on the intensity of your workout, skipping will typically burn between 70 and 110 calories in a 10-minute session.
Take the stairs
You’d be amazed how many staircases you can take in during the day, and choosing to use them rather than a lift can help you burn calories as well as toning up your legs and bottom.
Fast walking is one of the easiest ways to fit a bit of exercise into your day. Stride around the block in your lunch hour, walk the kids to school or take the dog for a walk. Try using a pedometer to keep track of how many steps you do.
Park and walk
If you have to drive to your appointment, you don’t have to miss out on exercise altogether. When you park, leave the car further away than usual from your destination and walk the rest of the way. If you’re shopping, leave your car in the space furthest from the shops, and you’ll benefit from the added bonus of carrying your bags back to the car park.
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