We all know that more movement equals more calories burned, which translates into weight loss. But if you’re following a weight loss plan to improve your health, you’ve already noticed that fitting more movement into your day can pose a challenge. With most of us working sedentary jobs these days, we spend at least eight hours per day sitting. When you’re stuck at a desk most of the day, how much do you need to exercise in order to combat a sedentary lifestyle?
We have some good news for you. Luckily, you don’t need to combat hours of sitting by exercising for an equal number of hours. In fact, new research shows that between 11 and 35 minutes of brisk walking every day can slash your risk of chronic disease and improve your longevity. This effect was apparent even in study participants who were otherwise sedentary for ten or more hours per day!
Of course, while any amount of movement is better than none at all, those following a weight loss plan probably want to aim for the longer end of that range. So in order to fit 35 minutes of brisk walking into each day, follow these steps:
Make a plan. Most of us won’t head out for a walk unless we’ve prioritized that in our schedule, and planned our days around it.
Hold yourself accountable. Choose a method that motivates you, such as scheduling walking time with a friend, recording your activity on an app, or joining a support group on social media.
Take movement breaks. Set a timer to remind you to get up from your desk once per hour or so. Even just a five-minute brisk walk around the office parking lot can add to your overall daily movement goal.
Find more ways to get moving. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, or do a lap around the mall before beginning a shopping trip. Everything helps.
Make it fun. Add music, choose fun walking routes, or create a game to play while you’re out walking. If it’s fun, you’re more motivated to stick to a new routine.
And of course, seek the support you need. Schedule an appointment to discuss your weight loss plan, and we’ll review nutrition tips and safe exercises practices with you.