Even just 10 to 15 minutes a day can reap benefits.
But recent studies show if you can’t get in 30 minutes a day, even just 10 to 15 minutes can reap benefits.
“You don’t need to jump into a massive program,” advises Dave Indelicato, fitness manager at Gold’s Gym in Maryland Heights.
Indelicato says sometimes starting slowly can help give you the motivation to build up to a more active lifestyle. And every little bit of activity counts. Gold’s calls it “exercise without exercising.”
It could be something as simple as walking around your office, either inside or out, for a few minutes every day. Dancing, participating in a charity walk or bike ride, doing leg-lifts in your chair at work, playing with the kids, even stretching or doing sit-ups in front of the TV at night – all of these count as activities that could take you from a couch potato to more fit.
“They’re simple, small things,” Indelicato says. “But they all burn calories the same. Exercise can be basic, and it can be easy, and it’s just as important as brushing your teeth every day.”
Low amounts of moderate-intensity exercise can reduce weight and body fat, according to research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in January 2004. Losing just a few pounds has also been shown to help reduce risk of diabetes, and small amounts of exercise have been shown to improve symptoms of depression.
Britchett will be 30 soon, and she wanted to start her next decade of life feeling healthier and more energetic. In April, she began to work with Indelicato after tagging along to the gym with her sister.
She began slowly, just 15 to 20 minutes a session. Now she’s doing intense cardio-weight training twice a week and is on the treadmill at home most of the remaining days.
Britchett says she’s not focusing so much on weight loss as she is on being fit.
“There’s times when I don’t want to do it,” she says. “But it’s for a purpose, and it’s for my health.
By Kay Quinn
Originally published in the St. Louis Post Dispatch