Do you leave the couch when you aren’t on the job? Are you active during your free time? I’d say there is over a 30% chance you aren’t. A 2015 study (so we aren’t talking about an outdated study) found that 36% of U.S. adults are physically inactive when they aren’t on the clock or basically when they aren’t at work… that’s massive! That basically means that 1 out of every 3 adults in this country is pretty lethargic. This isn’t implying anything drastic like spending our free time doing jumping jacks or swimming laps at the pool. This is simply saying that a 1/3 of us hardly leave the couch during our leisure time! Hmmm, how does this lack of physical activity affect our health? It can’t make that much of a difference, right?
Of course it can make a MASSIVE difference in your overall health and how long you live! Being physically inactive can equate to a 12% increase in risk of diabetes, 18% increased risk of bone fractures and even a 20% increase in heart disease! Still wanting to take your chances the lazy way? Well how about this stat – a recent study found that getting up and active during this “free” time can equate to adding 4.5 years to your life! Yup… it’s time to get off that couch and get going!
Let’s Get Active
I get it, we want to be healthier but if that means running 3 miles every night, we are likely to skip it altogether. But what if I said only 20 minutes a day can make a huge improvement? Research tells us that only 20 minutes of brisk walking daily can significantly reduce your chance of heart attack by up to 40%. To reap these benefits all you have to do is get up and get walking. Grab your dog, grab your spouse or grab both and go take a walk – it can save your life!
Drop the Excuses
For those of you out there that want to kick it up a notch, you can perform quick and efficient at home circuits! These are one of my favorite workouts to perform when I have a free minute at home because they can blast calories, build muscle and improve your overall health! Yup, they are that great for you! It’s simple: pick 6-8 exercises that alternate between cardio and strength training which work your entire body. I’ll even give you an example workout – check this simple circuit out:
[Note: Always get clearance from your doctor before beginning any exercise program!]
- Strength: Incline Pushups
- Cardio: Mountain Climbers
- Strength: Step-Back Lunges
- Cardio: Run in Place
- Strength: Arnold/Shoulder Press
- Cardio: Jump Rope/Jumping Jacks
- Strength: Squats with Upright Row
- Cardio/Strength: Burpees
Now all you do is perform these exercises in order for 30 seconds each (doing as many reps as possible with proper form) for a total of 3 sets! If you push yourself throughout the workout you can get it done in less than 20 minutes and your heart will be pounding, your muscle pumped and your lungs screaming for air! Trust me – it will kick your butt in an efficient manner!
Being healthy isn’t rocket science! You don’t want to be like a third of the US population that lives a very lethargic lifestyle, do you? Start by getting up and getting active – this can simply be a social walk with your buddies or even a quick at-home circuit workout. There are so many options for you out there to get active and get healthier in only a few minutes a day! That’s way better then skipping exercise every day, right?
Josh (M.S., Personal Trainer) is the founder and editor of DIY Active: “Fit.Food.Life. – No Gym Needed!” He strives to combine the latest science with fitness to help everyone exercise smarter from the comforts of their own homes!