How Much Activity Is Right For Me?
The temperatures have FINALLY broken and the rain is certainly not happening as often as it was a few weeks ago. The nice part of Spring has finally arrived and all anyone wants to do is get outside. Naturally, our rate of activity should increase as we start thinking about wearing less clothing, swimsuits, items that show how hard or not hard we have been working on our physiques. Eek.
Is there time to drop a couple pounds or tone up before it gets THAT warm? You bet. It's never too late to start and you'll already be ahead by tomorrow.
So how much activity should I try to do daily to help that? Well that all depends. Are you used to it?
It's recommended for adults to get at least 10,000 steps a day. Not every adult can immediately jump into that. And if you don't wear a step counter or fitness tracker, you may not have much of a concept as to how much that actually is. Take me for example. On a normal day, I basically work a desk job. I get 3.5k steps just going through my normal routine, which doesn't include much walking around the house or my tiny store. I have to walk for 50 minutes outside or on the treadmill to get my 10k steps each day.
Can you handle an extra hour of walking each day? Or a couple half hour sessions? Do you have time normally or would you have to make time? Or is a couple hours of your day taken up by constant walking around doing chores? That time definitely adds up. On a Frday, I'll do the grocery shopping and a bunch of chores for a couple hours and wind up with 8k steps just from that.
But how much SHOULD you get to start seeing a difference? That is such a tricky question to answer because it depends on what you're eating. If you eat a thousand calories over what your body naturally burns at rest, you're gaining a little weight each day, you might need to go for a job for an hour! Or if you know you don't eat enough each day, meaning you have a calorie defecit (which does lead to weight loss, not a bad thing if that's your intention!), then maybe twenty minutes of walking a day, just to start is a good way to just be more active.
The better answer is to figure out what your goal is: to drop a few pounds, to be able to not get winded while going up the stairs, to help your child practice their favorite sport? Each goal needs a different path, and a different amount of tme and patience. If you aren't used to being active, then start slow, with less time and go up by five-minute increments. Set goals and log your time. Maybe get outside and walk for fifteen minutes, three times a week, each week upping the sessions by five minutes and a day, until you're walking most days to whatever time you feel like devoting to it. Also write down how you feel. Are you handling the activity better and with less fatigue over time? Does it make you want to raise the bar a little? Do the walks make you feel more mentally at peace? Does it make you want to get a step counter to measure your goals more closely?
Then I would say you're moving in the right direction. Progress. Always progress.
How Much Activity?
It depends on you!