Physical activity is more important than ever!
– And it only takes you 30 minutes!
Published 13. June 2022 by SATS
This article was originally published on sats.no.
With all the knowledge we have today about how important physical activity is for both body and mind, one would think everyone chose to live physically active lives. That's not the case. The majority of Norwegians are either completely inactive or not active enough to get a health benefit.
With just 30 minutes of physical activity each day, you achieve great benefits for both your physical and mental health. As little as one walk a week can prevent depression, and just four minutes of physical activity gives you increased focus for one hour afterwards!
How to get started:
Set a goal
The chances of success are higher if you have a plan, and to succeed, it is important that the plan is possible to implement. That is why we recommend the small, achievable goals rather than the big ones. Here we actually have a lot to learn from top athletes; they focus on the little things all the time to keep improving.
So instead of having a big goal to overcome, you can set yourself a goal of just managing 30 minutes of activity each day. These 30 minutes can be divided throughout the day: ten minutes in the morning, ten minutes during lunch and ten minutes in the afternoon. That's not impossible to achieve, is it?
Be "everyday active"
For some, the words "working out" can be frightening, as if you already feel you can't meet the expectations in terms of quantity, intensity and knowledge. But remember that you don't have to train hard to be physically active. It is simply a matter of being everyday active and everyday smart.
The best tip is as simple as it is effective; make movement necessary in your everyday life!
You can easily fill out the list below by thinking about how you move between activities during the day:
Take the stairs instead of the elevator
Walk to the store instead of driving
Turn off the TV in the evening and go for a walk instead. You sleep so much better afterwards!
Accompany your child to an activity? If you start from home ten minutes earlier, maybe you can walk or bike instead of driving? And while you wait for your child to finish; why not go for a walk meanwhile?
Waiting for a cup of coffee? Do some push-ups while you wait!
Have you ever tried to do any squats while brushing your teeth?
Do you take on the challenge of doing lunges when going out with the garbage? If neighbors are wondering what you are doing, you can tell that lunges are great for improving balance and coordination - you work your core muscles and hip flexors.
Make an appointment
It is often easier to carry out a workout session when you have made an appointment with others. Now that many of us are sitting at home office, why not make an appointment with a neighbor, or friend to meet for a little walk? Kickstart the day with a "good morning walk"!
Many of us also set common goals with others, be it a weekly challenge with a friend to take 20 situps every day. Send each other an update on Snapchat or a message: "20 situps: done!". Most of us have a touch of competitive instinct and it is a perfect way to challenge each other in a fun and effective way.
Smart tips for the home office
In the office, there are often natural breaks when you go to and from meetings. You stand and talk to colleagues on the way to the coffee machine and you go together for lunch. These natural breaks disappear when you sit alone in your home office, but even at home you should get this type of mini-breaks and here are some simple and effective tips:
Call in to the Teams Meeting on your phone. Doing so, you can walk around a bit while talking or listening.
Bring a glass of water to your desk instead of a water bottle. Then you have to get up a little more often to refill and you get a natural break from sitting still.
Set an alarm on your phone every 30 minutes as a reminder to get up and stretch a little.
Invite colleagues to a home office training; start softly, get up together, stretch your arms in the air, stretch your neck and roll your shoulders a little. This is liberating for both muscles and joints - and do not be surprised if it also brings out a smile or two!
Do you have colleagues living nearby? Arrange a meeting outdoors and you automatically beat two birds with one stone!
And by the way: home office doesn't just have to be negative - many of us actually save quite a bit of time when we do not have to go to the office and back home. What if you put in the time spent on the way to work in the morning, and use it for some physical activity? Book time for yourself and your health - it is the best investment you can make!
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"Sterk hjerne med aktiv kropp", Ole Petter Hjelle
"Sterk hjerne med fysisk aktivitet", Ole Petter Hjelle