Barriers to being active

How do you include physical activity in your schedule when you do not have the time?

We all know that physical activity is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. The Let’s Move website recommends that adults participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity at minimum five days each week, totaling 150 minutes per week. That can be easier said than done!

One of the biggest barriers in trying to incorporate physical activity into our lives is lack of time. With busy, unpredictable schedules and multiple responsibilities, adding physical activity into the mix seems almost impossible.

Fitting 30 minutes of physical activity into one day does not have to be as difficult as it seems. Activity does not have to be completed in one block of time. Break it into smaller blocks of time. Maybe you have 10 minutes, three times a day or 15 minutes twice a day. These time blocks can be broken into 10 minutes intervals morning, afternoon and evening. Being active does not have to involve trips to the gym or long sessions on a machine. It can be as easy as brisk walking, hiking or riding a bike.

Another way to lead up to a “more active you” includes lifestyle activity. This type of activity involves taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking at the end of the parking lot and walking to the store or walking into the bank instead of going through the drive-thru. These are generally too short to count towards your 150 minute weekly goal, but they can certainly make a difference in a person’s overall activity level.

Be sure to consult your health care professional before beginning any physical activity routine and keep safety in mind as you add physical activity into your lifestyle. Visit Michigan State University Extension’s physical activity page for more information on a variety of topics to enrich your healthy lifestyle.

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