How to Get 30 Minutes of Exercise Each Day

Physical inactivity is the second highest lifestyle related cause of disease and illness in Australia.

Running

As part of our Healthy Lifestyle Challenge, participants must consistently do 30 minutes of moderate intensity, ‘huffy puffy’ exercise each day.

What is ‘huffy puffy’ exercise?

‘Huffy puffy’ exercise is any movement that gets your heart rate up and makes you sweat. You should be out of breath and unable to hold a conversation in full sentences.

The National Physical Activity Guidelines recommend accumulating 2.5 – 5 hours of moderate intensity or 1.25-2.5 hours of vigorous intensity exercise each week. In an ideal world, you’re aiming for a combination of both.

Benefits of exercise

Getting 30 minutes of ‘huffy puffy’ exercise in each day can be easier than you expect. Besides, the benefits are totally worth it! Getting vigorous exercise in each day will help:

  • Optimise your mood, memory and brain function

  • Increase your blood flow, oxygen and nutrient supply to your body

  • Reduce your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis

  • Assist with managing your weight

Here are 3 fun and easy ways to get puffed in 30 minutes:

1. Circuit Training

Circuit training is one of the most efficient ways to enhance cardiovascular fitness and muscle endurance. It’s easy to create a short, sharp session at home using different exercises to target different muscle groups and body parts. Try incorporating upper body exercises like pushups, tricep dips and chin ups with lower body exercises like squats, lunges, calf raises and stair climbs. Throw in some crunches, planks and leg raises to finish off and work your core. With minimal rest cycles you can easily make this a high intensity session and tick off your 30 minutes easily.

2. Interval Training 

Steady state exercise like going for a long run, ride or row at a slower speed are great, aerobic, huffy puffy exercises, but if you want to boost the overall intensity, try adding interval training. This style of training mixes high and low intensity (or active rest) exercise for great metabolic results.

Instead of going for a slow run, try sprinting for 30 seconds at maximum effort and then scale back the intensity to an easy jog for 1-2 minutes of active recovery. Repeat 8-10 times. Varying exercise intensity can help your body adapt to exercising for longer and at higher intensity levels.

3. Skipping

Skipping rope is a fun, total body way to break a sweat. Using a skipping rope strengthens both your upper and lower body, gets your heart rate pumping and builds coordination and balance. If that’s not enough to convince you – a skipping rope costs less than $5 and is light and transportable so you can take it with you anywhere.

All 3 of the above exercises are great ways to incorporate ‘huffy puffy’ exercise into your favourite routine or use them on their own as a serious heart pumping activity. Don’t be afraid to mix up your cardiovascular exercise – any activity that helps you get your sweat on is perfect! 

Move More: Tips to Increase your Incidental Exercise

Incidental exercise is the movement you perform as part of your everyday life that makes up your daily activities. These movements can be simple – from walking to the mailbox to gardening to playing with the kids – but together these bite-sized chunks can add up to a significant portion of your total daily physical activity. Physical activity has excellent health benefits and forms the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. It raises your daily energy expenditure and helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

Sitting is the new smoking. Here are some handy ways to boost incidental exercise:

  • Set an alarm on your phone or watch to move hourly from your desk or chair
  • Invest in a standing desk
  • Take regular breaks to grab another glass of water
  • Take phone calls on your mobile and do laps around the office
  • Don’t install a printer at your desk, walk to collect printing
  • Catch up with work colleagues or friends over a brisk walk instead of sitting down at the office or coffee shop
  • Always use the stairs over the lift or escalators
  • Jump off the bus a few stops early and walk the rest of the way
  • Multi task – instead of sitting down in front of the television, do chores like washing, ironing and folding.
  • Park further away from the shop entry
  • Leave the TV remote on the coffee table and get up to change the channel