Those Elusive 30 Minutes (Part 1)

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When time is scarce, people often eliminate their exercise routine first.


According to a recent survey conducted at Indiana University Bloomington’s School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, students and faculty listed lack of time as their No. 1 barrier to exercising.

“It’s a ‘perceived’ lack of time,” says Andy Fry, assistant director for fitness and wellness at Campus Recreational Sports, which conducted the survey.

He says 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week is enough to gain health benefits like a lower risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. The American Heart Association, the U.S. Surgeon General and the American College of Sports Medicine agree. It should be noted, however, that 30-minute workouts are best for maintaining weight, not losing it.

“For general fitness and health, 30-minute workouts are enough, but if your goal is weight loss you may need to bump it up, depending on your fitness level, and couple that with proper nutrition,” Fry says.

As always, consult a physician if you’re starting a new exercise routine.

Do It Before Going Home

“If people try to put workouts before work, in the middle during lunch, or immediately after work, they are often more successful,” Fry says. “When people go home, they want to relax and be with family and friends.”

If a full half-hour is difficult to carve out during your workday, consider breaking up a 30-minute workout into three 10-minute workouts.

“It is preferred that you do 30 minutes at one time, but if you can split it up into two or three segments, that is still adequate,” he says. “Some activity is better than none, but when you do less than 10 minutes at a time, you start to see fewer benefits.”

Tune in tomorrow for Part 2 of this story. 

For more health-related articles, please visit our Health Articles Archive and the Health Section of our Organic Blog.

Photo courtesy of Indiana University Bloomington

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