When the to-do list is long and there aren’t enough hours in the day, it can seem counter-intuitive to add exercise to the list. Here’s a thought: let’s reconsider how we think about exercise.
Rather than adding exercise as an extra item on your to-do list, what about considering exercise as a part of your job? That’s right – your new job description includes as little as one 10-minute bout of physical activity each day. Your payment? A happier, less stressed and healthier self.
Remember: The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend a total of at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week. This averages about 20 minutes a day. You’ll be surprised at how easily you can fit 10 minute bouts of activity into your day to achieve this amount.
The science applies to kids and adults alike. For children, physical activity leads to improved cognitive performance and academic achievement. It also improves self-esteem, reduces anxiety and depression and increases social well-being.
For adults, physical activity improves concentration, accelerates learning, enhances creativity and lowers stress. Employees who exercise are proven to be sick less often, and are more agreeable to their colleagues and generally more satisfied with their job on the days they exercise. Again, these benefits come with as little as one 10-minute bout of physical activity per day! Sounds like a good trade-off, no?
Physical activity is also a healthy and effective way to combat stress. It reduces stress by reducing the level of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, circulating in your body. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, the neurochemicals produced in your brain, which reduce pain and elevate mood.
Overall, your strength, stamina and self-image will improve along with your productivity when you add physical activity to your day.
But, how do we find time to fit physical activity into our already busy schedules? It’s important to recognize that physical activity can be incorporated into the most regular tasks. Heading to the store? Why not park further away and walk the extra distance? Better yet, if it’s walkable, consider walking the whole way there! If you take transit to work or school, getting off a stop early is an easy sliver of added activity.
Watch this video to find some simple ways we can add some activity into our day without even realizing it!
What can you do to add simple physical activity to your day?