As the weather starts to change, the mornings a little chilly, the afternoons darker, the motivation to be out and active gets harder the closer we get to winter. However, incidental activity is something we can all achieve without realising it. Be it taking the stairs rather than the lift or getting off the tram a stop or two earlier and walking the rest of the distance. There are proven health benefits of 20 mins of exercise on not only our physical wellbeing, but our mental and emotional wellbeing too.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends adults 18-64 years partake in 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week. 150 minutes seems crazy when we all barely have 2 minutes to ourselves in this hectic world!
To break it down, that equates to roughly 20 minutes of exercise every day. It can also be accumulated into smaller 10 minute blocks, or you can do more on another day. Moderate intensity is usually a brisk walking pace – where you can talk with a little puffing, and your heart rate is elevated. So grab your buddy and go for a power walk, coffee in hand!
Taking a break out of the office, computer and florescent lights can also have a massive impact on our emotional and mental health. 20 mins of exercise releases chemicals in our brain that improve mood. It can reduce our stress, help our sleep and has proven to increase productivity.
So next time you’re having your lunch at your desk or sitting down for your latte, consider taking a quick lap around the block, or the “long way” to get back to the office. Standing up at work or opting to stand on the train can also increase our energy expenditure for the day too. An easy way to remember would be for every 30 mins of sitting to do 30 seconds of exercise – whether that’s getting a glass of water, visiting your work neighbour or standing up for a stretch. Increased physical activity, some fresh air and vitamin D will help us on all facets of our lives.