An active lifestyle could mean that you have to spend 3 hours in the gym every day, but that’s not really true! It does mean making an effort to move throughout the day. How do you determine if you are living an active lifestyle and how much activity is enough?
A few guidelines below will help to determine the various levels of activity. These levels are defined by how hard your heart is working when you are doing these activities. This is not a measure of your overall fitness, but a level of how active you are in an 8 hour period of time.
Light activity – This activity level does not make you sweat nor breathe heavy.
Walking— leisurely for pleasure
Sitting—using the computer, reading a book, writing
Standing—light work such as cooking or washing dishes
Playing most instruments
Moderate activity – This level will cause you to sweat a little more and breathe a little harder.
Walking—very brisk (4 mph) about 1.5 to 3 miles per day
Mowing lawn (power mower)
Cleaning—washing windows, vacuuming, mopping
Hand washing and waxing the car
Bicycling—light effort (10–12 mph)
Vigorous activity – This makes you sweat, breathe harder and usually is sustained for a longer time.
Bicycling fast (14–16 mph)
Moving heavy furniture or carrying heavy items
Swimming – steady paced laps
Vigorously playing with children
Chopping or carrying logs
Weight lifting —2x per week
Running at 6 mph
It is recommended that participating in a moderate activity for 30 minutes, 5 days a week or more will strengthen your heart and improve overall health. To keep things interesting pick several different activities that you enjoy and space them out over the week to avoid boredom. Adding exercise to your daily routine can alleviate stress and increase your focus at work. To stay motivated scheduling activities with a friend will keep you accountable on those days when excuses seem to be easier.
Begin with the end in mind. Set your goal! Remember, it only takes 30 minutes a day at 10 minute intervals to make a difference! Consistency is the key!