How to Schedule Time for Physical Activity

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN Health Pro
  • We are three weeks into the new year, how are you doing with your New Year's resolution?


    If you are working to improve your health, physical activity must be a part of your plan. There are numerous benefits associated with physical activity, such as weight loss, lower blood pressure, improved arthritis, pain management, and improved cardiorespiratory fitness.


    Research indicates that you need at least 150 minutes of moderate level activity each week in order to see the benefits of exercise. This can be broken down into 20 minutes each day or 30 minutes 5 days a week and should include both aerobic and strength training.

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    This isn't a lot of time, but if your days are already packed scheduling time for a workout can be a challenge. Here are five tips to keep in mind as you plan your workout routine.


    1. Workout in the morning if possible.

    Research has shown those who exercise in the morning tend to see more success. This is partly due to getting exercise out of the way first thing before obstacles can get in the way.


    2. Have a backup plan.

    If you plan to exercise outside, but the weather doesn't permit you to do so have a backup plan in place. What will you do indoors and where to still get your activity done for the day if you can't be outside.


    3. Write it down.


    It may feel like you are doing a good job working out on a regular basis, but you may be surprised when you actually review a black and white record. You can keep track in a journal of the days/length of your workout, but my preferred method is on my wall calendar. Put an X on the day you go a workout in. Keep an eye on the calendar to see if you are getting a workout in an average of 5 days per week.


    4. Keep it fun.


    If you dread working out, it's going to be that much harder to stick with. Select activities you'll enjoy.


    5. Enlist support.


    Consider hiring a personal training for a set number of sessions per month. If you know someone is waiting for you and you've paid for their time you are much less likely to skip out. This is an easy and effective way to hold yourself accountable and ensure you continue moving towards your goal.


    You can access the free report How to Make Heart Healthy Changes into Lifelong Habits at

Published On: January 22, 2012