Jan 23, 2021 | Fitness

Reaping the mental health benefits of exercise is easier than you think

You don’t need to devote hours out of your busy day to train at the gym, sweat buckets, or run mile after monotonous mile to reap all the physical and mental health benefits of exercise. Just 30-minutes of moderate exercise five times a week is enough. And even that can be broken down into two 15-minute or even three 10-minute exercise sessions if that’s easier.

article originally appeared on helpguide.org
Just 30-minutes of moderate exercise five times a week is enough.

Even a little bit of activity is better than nothing

If you don’t have time for 15 or 30 minutes of exercise, or if your body tells you to take a break after 5 or 10 minutes, for example, that’s okay, too. Start with 5- or 10-minute sessions and slowly increase your time. The more you exercise, the more energy you’ll have, so eventually you’ll feel ready for a little more. The key is to commit to some moderate physical activity—however little—on most days. As exercising becomes a habit, you can slowly add extra minutes or try different types of activities. If you keep at it, the benefits of exercise will begin to pay off.

You don’t have to suffer to get results

Research shows that moderate levels of exercise are best for most people. Moderate means:
1. That you breathe a little heavier than normal, but are not out of breath. For example, ou should be able to chat with your walking partner, but not easily sing a song.
2. That your body feels warmer as you move, but not overheated or very sweaty.

Can’t find time to exercise during the week? Be a weekend warrior!

A recent study in the United Kingdom found that people who squeeze their exercise routines into one or two sessions during the weekend experience almost as many health benefits as those who work out more often. So don’t let a busy schedule at work, home, or school be an excuse to avoid activity. Get moving whenever you can find the time—your mind and body will thank you!

article originally appeared on helpguide.org