Take 30 minutes a day to take care of your health

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Some people mistakenly believe if they don’t have an hour to exercise, there is no reason to work out at all. Or they use that idea as an excuse and talk themselves out of exercising.

But the truth is — any workout is better than no workout.

Your daily workout doesn’t have to be a large production with a ton of equipment and some sort of pre-workout juicing. It just has to happen.

“Our bodies are responsive to exercise on a continuum, not on a time-based threshold,” Jonathan Ross, the American Council on Exercise’s 2006 Personal Trainer of the Year, says in an article on webMD.com. “An effective workout can be had in any amount of time, given how you manipulate the variables of the workout.”

Fitness expert Petra Kolber agrees, according to the article.

“Doing something is better than doing nothing,” says Kolber, a contributing editor for Health magazine. “Thirty minutes is a realistic time frame for us to take out of our day to take care of ourselves.”

One of the best ways to get the most out of your time is circuit training, which is completing strength-training exercises with cardiovascular boosts in between. You complete one exercise for a specific amount of time or repetitions, then quickly move to the next. It’s a sure way to get your heart rate up and burn a lot of calories.

I also find that if I know I am only working out for 30 minutes, I am more apt to push myself.

You may even push yourself enough to burn as many calories as you would during an hour workout. Also, if you are just starting out it can be less daunting to think about exercising for 30 minutes instead of an hour.

No gym? No problem!

Take a walk and add some short bursts of jogging or sprinting.

Ride your bike up a hill, go down and do it over and over again.

Head to the nearest park and take in the fresh air while you walk, jog, bike and maybe even play on the playground with your kids.

Again, the idea is to do something, because something is always better than nothing.

Alyssa Latham is Health Seekers program coordinatorfor the Walla Walla YMCA. She can be reached at alatham@wwymca.org.

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