Joanne Skaggs, M.D., OU Medicine internal medicine physician.

By Joshua Vascil, OU Medicine

When it comes to healthy and effective exercise habits, the amount of time and effort you can put in to the workouts is the key. However, an OU Medicine internal medicine provider says there are some helpful options for those who don’t have much time to work out.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, adults should spend 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity, or 75 to 150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. The Journal also recommends adults perform muscle-strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups two or more days a week.
Joanne Skaggs, M.D., OU Medicine internal medicine physician, says time does matter when it comes to your workout habits, however, if you don’t have much time, she recommends High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT work-outs or simply limiting idle time throughout the day.
“Weight-bearing exercise is key for metabolism and losing weight just as much as aerobic physical activity is,” Skaggs said. “You always want to do a combination.”
Maintaining a routine to ensure that you get the most out of your exercise habits is important, Skaggs said. She recommends marking time for exercise on a calendar. “It forces it to become part of your schedule so that it’s harder to ignore, or at least there is some guilt. Group fitness is also a good way to motivate and become socially engaged in your community.”
For those who can’t find time or can’t make it to a fitness facility or gym regularly, Skaggs suggests trying to limit idle time by incorporating some of these activities in your day:
· Move more
· Sit less
· Park at the back of the parking lot
· Take the stairs when you can
· Incorporate physical activity into family time
· Look for fitness videos online, even if it’s only a 10 minute workout
“I always recommend the rule of 3’s,” Skaggs said. “Three minutes for three days in a row. Increase by three minutes every three days until you are able to reach 30 minutes. It’s much more doable this way.”
Skaggs warns that it’s always important everyone knows their limits and not push too hard, to avoid injury. “Do not go out and try and lift excessively or over exert yourself. Know your body. Do what you can, gradually pushing yourself to maintain a steady, healthy exercise pattern. And, you need to realize that physical fitness and health takes time. You’re not going to lose 50 pounds overnight.”
Before starting a new exercise and fitness regimen, it is important to check with your doctor.
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