You might not like the idea of aerobic exercise. Memories of Jane Fonda or Richard Simmons might not get you in the mood to move. I get it.
But aerobic exercise, also called cardio, is one of the best things you can do for your health. It can help control blood pressure, weight, boost bone health, and more.
Experts recommend everyone gets at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity cardio exercise per week, too. But many don’t. Whether it’s not having the time or the idea that it has to look like the classes of the 80s and 90s, people just don’t do it.
But those hurdles can be overcome by changing how you think about cardio.
One of the first ways to make it more accessible is to think about the timing a little differently. That 150 minutes –2.5 hours – doesn’t have to all be done at once. You don’t even need to do 30 minutes 5 days weekly all at once.
Slicing up that time in a way that works for you can help you get more movement. Doing two or three 10-minute sessions per day can help you reach the weekly target much more quickly.
You can also think about “moderate intensity” a little differently. It may sound overwhelming, but it is not very demanding. You can identify moderate intensity with something called the talk test: you’re at the right level if you are exercising hard enough to break a sweat but can still comfortably hold a conversation.
Lastly, you can think of all the different ways that aerobic exercise can look. It’s not all about jumping jacks and moving from side to side, lifting your knees, and clapping.
Accessible and enjoyable forms of moderate exercise can include:
- Brisk walks
- Dancing (around the house or as part of a class)
- Doing housework
- Working in garden
- Stair climbing
- Walking on a treadmill