Last week’s blog was about BMI and the parameters surrounding it. From the comments I have heard from you all I can safely say that it is making a lot of you unhappy. You feel you put in the effort of eating correctly and getting lots of exercise but then a number lets you down. I will wait and see if the powers that be will change this, although I doubt that they will.
Carrying on from BMI
Carrying on from the BMI post, I want to look more at exercise and how easy it is to get it in. As I said last week the numbers for exercise according to the NHS website are as follows:
Inactive – less than 30 minutes exercise a week
Moderately active – between 30 and 60 minutes of exercise a week
Active – between 60 and 150 minutes of exercise a week
Remember that this for a week. A whole week which is 7 days which is 168 hours and finally 10080 minutes. So, you can see why 30 minutes of exercise is a very achievable figure as the bare minimum. The 60 minutes is beginning to push boundaries, but it is the 150 minutes which really starts to push things. However, in my opinion I would suggest adding two more layers to the chart.
Very active – between 150 and 300 minutes of exercise a week
Extremely active – between 300 and 500 minutes of exercise a week
(Challengers – 1000 minutes and beyond)
Let’s give the people who are constantly moving a category and a pat on the back to say well done, lets carry on being active.
The new categories
The new categories seem like a lot of minutes but let me break it down for you, so it seems easy. To get 300 minutes it would work out as follows:
30 minutes of walking 4 days a week = 120 minutes
60 minutes of walking 2 days a week = 120 minutes
90 minutes of walking 1 day a week = 90 minutes
Grand total = 330 minutes per week
It’s as easy as that.
If you happen to have access to a home gym or sports centre, then take out that 60 minutes of walking and add in a 60-minute class.
The 500 minutes is slightly trickier as it involves more time however, if you do have time then it can be achieved.
30 minutes of walking 5 days a week = 150
2 x 45-minute spin class = 90 minutes
2 x 60-minute pump class = 120 minutes
1 x high intensity class = 30 minutes
Gardening over the week = 120 minutes
Grand total = 510 minutes
Activities of daily living
Let me break this down even further into activities of daily living. This is as follows:
- Walking to the bus stop/gym/corner shop
- Parking at the other end of the supermarket when going in to buy one item
- Walking up the stairs at work or in a department store
- Sitting down and standing up during an advert break on television or getting up to make a cup of tea every hour
- Vacuuming your house from top to toe
- Getting up at work and walking over to a colleague’s desk rather than phone them
There are many more too.
I understand we are all busy day in and day out but even small changes like the above can help us all keep active.
Last week I said I was going to challenge myself in getting 1000 minutes of exercise each week of July. I am pleased to say that last week I got 1042. Now, I thought that 1000 minutes would be easy and that it would be plain sailing but even I have had some pitfalls. I got one of those 24-hour buggy things and managed to pull a muscle in my leg. This meant that my Saturday was completely wiped out and my Sunday I had to go easy. The main issue I had was fitting it all in. Now I am lucky that during Tuesday and Wednesday at work my participation in the classes counted however, that still leaves 5 days of the week where I had to put in the effort.
How I got to 1042
I got to my minutes by doing various classes. I did spin, Zumba, circuits and weights to name a few. After the classes I would pop into the gym and walk on the treadmill, go on the cross trainer, cycle or have a weights session. I also walked more than normal and then spent some of the time gardening.
This week has got off to a rocky start as I am still nursing that pulled muscle, so Monday was a quiet exercise day, but I was back full force on Tuesday. At present I am 349 minutes into the week.
Just get active
Do just that. You don’t have to get to my challenge of 1000 minutes in a week but challenge yourself personally and aim for an extra hour or two. Start from there and see what happens. Believe me when I say your mind, mental health, physical health and general wellbeing will all thank you. Plus, along the way you may lose weight, tone up those muscles, improve your posture, speak to people at the gym and make friends, hang out with your favourite person and so on.