For many people, fitting in a daily workout can feel really daunting. After a long day of work or school, sometimes the couch is the only appealing thing on the agenda. But did you know that exercising for just 15 minutes a day can have a pretty big impact on your overall health?
Fifteen minutes may not seem like a lot of time to you, but fitness experts and scientific studies agree that it’s enough to make a difference. Any amount of exercise is better than zero. If you’re new to fitness or haven’t been active in a long time, a short, 15-minute workout may be best to start with anyway.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends starting light when it comes to fitness with just 10-15 minutes a day of activity. Whether it’s walking or something more involved, these short workouts can still be hugely beneficial to your body. Plus, starting small will help you establish a workout routine in your day-to-day.
Keep in mind that exercise recommendations are not one-size-fits-all, so it may take some time to figure out what you need, what you enjoy and what works for you. If you have any health conditions that could affect your exercise routine, be sure to speak with your health care provider before starting a new regimen. Here’s what to know about how to start exercising for overall better health.
When in doubt, start with walking. Walking is a great way to get your body moving without getting overwhelmed. Plus, you can add 15 minutes of walking to your daily routine even if you’ve never exercised before — it’s that easy.
Going for a brisk walk can help get your heart rate up. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, this can, in turn, help lower blood pressure and boost energy. It will also get your body used to a workout routine and start to build up your stamina. To reap the full benefits of a walking workout, remember you’re not window shopping. Make sure your pace is brisk enough to increase your breathing but still allows you to carry on a conversation.
Make sure you’re wearing good walking shoes that provide enough support for your feet. Find a quiet nature trail to add some mental health benefits to the deal, or listen to music or a podcast to make the time pass more quickly. That can be especially helpful if you’re worried you’ll be focused on how much longer you have rather than just enjoying the walk.
And you can walk wherever suits your lifestyle — whether you’re walking around the park, your neighborhood, on a treadmill or even around your apartment, movement is movement. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your walking time or incorporate it into your day-to-day life. If you use public transit, for example, you could walk to the next stop rather than the one closest to your home.
As you walk more, you’ll probably