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You can exercise without going to the gym. Here's how.

Man plays with dog.
Blog

/ by UK HealthCare

If you have a hectic schedule, it can be hard to carve out time for a good workout. But according to new guidelines recently released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, exercise isn’t simply going for a long jog or hitting the gym. These new guidelines encourage you to broaden your definition of exercise.

The new recommendations still suggest engaging in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. In other words, shoot for 22 minutes of physical activity per day. The guidelines also recommend participating in muscle-strengthening activities two or more days per week.

The new definition of exercise

But this physical activity doesn’t mean you just have to go to the gym and work out. You can increase your physical activity in short bursts doing simple, everyday tasks, according to the updated federal guidelines.

All activity that helps raise your heart rate, regardless of how long the activity lasts, counts toward the goal of 150 minutes of activity per week. This includes:

  • Climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
  • Taking mini-breaks throughout the day to walk around the block.
  • Pulling up weeds in the garden.
  • Playing with your pets.
  • Parking farther away from your destination so you can walk more.

Why exercise?

Exercise should be a vital part of your day because it helps you maintain or improve your overall health and well-being. It comes with many immediate and long-term benefits:

  • Reduces anxiety.
  • Improves sleep.
  • Boosts mood.
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Lowers risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and certain cancers.

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