How much is enough?

We know that the 7Fs (Food, Fitness, Friendships, Finances, Future, Fun, Faith) can help to add years to life and life to years. A key component of Fitness is exercise, both physical and mental: exercise is something we must do. However, fitting exercise into our daily routine can be a real struggle. If you’re in this group, you’re not Robinson Crusoe.

A recent Australian study found that many people had barriers around incorporating exercise into their daily routine – both in the workplace and later in life.The study showed that 54% of Australian workers identified work pressures as getting in the way of exercising and 43% reckoned that they were too tired from work to lead an active lifestyle. And oldies claimed that they found the task difficult because their levels of motivation seemed to have declined with age. Then, of course, there’s the big question of how much exercise is considered to be enough?

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that we complete 10,000 steps, or the equivalent level of activity, every day. Walking, for example, can be a great way to reach, and even exceed, the magic number. There are, however, a range of sports and activities that can quickly contribute to the recommended steps.

There’s a plethora of activities. Other examples include:

Activity Equivalent low-intensity steps per half hour
Pilates 4,160 steps
Golfing, even at the driving range. 4,264
Gardening 1,000
Most forms of yoga. 4,060
Wheelchair activities 6,000
Jogging, swimming, and bike riding – or other cross-training activities. 6,754
Surfing 5,118

Those on this list are examples only, of course. It’s up to you to choose an exercise that suits you and your lifestyle. You can also help to reach your daily goal of 10,000 by incorporating some of these activities into your daily routine.
. Invite friends to join you in your daily exercise;
. Where possible, use the stairs instead of taking the lift or escalator;
. Try a wide variety of new sports or activities;
. Walk instead of driving, and even if you must drive, park further away from your destination so you have to walk further;
. Hop off the bus one stop earlier;
. Spring clean the house, the garage, or your den;
. Play with the grandkids when they’re around; and
. Get started – remember excuses are alibis for not succeeding.

There’s plenty of available technologies to help you to reach your WHO target. And exceeding 10,000 is OK, so don’t be hesitant about taking that next step.