A new study was published this week that finds that the recommended amount of daily activity isn't enough. This study looked at almost 400,000 people and their exercising habits over the course of 15 years. The old rule was 30 minutes of exercise a day keeps the doctor away, but this study suggests differently. The participants that exercised for 30 minutes a day showed slightly less risk for heart disease; however, participants that exercised for 2-4 hours a day showed significant improvement in heart health over the same period in time. You can check out the full study with all of the data to back up their recommendations at the journal's website, Circulation.
So what does that mean for us? Four hours of exercise a day seems like a huge time commitment. Who has the time to maintain a healthy relationship and get that kind of exercise every day? The good news is that the exercise doesn't have to be strenuous. And you could easily multitask while keeping your body in shape. We've recommended a couple ways to spend time with your significant other while you both keep up your heart health.
- Go on a jog or a run every morning together. If running isn't your thing, then take a walk around the block. This is a great habit to kick start. It will help put your day into focus and give you both a little extra time together that you might not have otherwise.
- Find a sport to pick up together like tennis or basketball. You don't have to play a competitive game to work up a sweat. It's not the points that matter, but the fact that you're out there moving around instead of binge watching Netflix for days. You could check out a game called Slammo. It's a fun game that will get you moving, but could be played in small areas.
- If you have a local indoor pool, then you could find some time to swim some laps together. A lot of health clubs will offer water aerobics as an alternative.
- Pick up a local class together that meets at least once a week. A lot of gyms will offer some form of yoga, zumba, crossfit, or workout class.
- If you have a bike, go on a ride together around town. If you need to go to the grocery store or run an errand that is a couple miles away, try ditching the car for your bike instead.
- Do outdoor work together like gardening, mowing the lawn, raking leaves, or pulling weeds.
- Turn television commercials into fitness breaks.