Healthy Lifestyle Tips

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What's A Healthy Exercise Routine Look Like Anyway?

Take a dive into the search for exercise routines, and you'll find no shortage of big ideas on how you should spend your time. High impact fitness routines, low impact yoga routines, and exercises you can complete from your couch will beckon you to throw away everything you've done before for a new way to change your life. So what's a healthy routine look like, when would your exercise routine look like something that the majority of doctors would give a thumbs up? Here's a review of the most important recommendations from top medical organizations around the world and how you can make that work in your daily life.

Move Minutes

The foundation of any exercise routine are how many minutes you move every day. Sedentary lifetyles (a lifestyle where you move very little) have been compared to smoking because of their impact on your body, including a 500% rise in your risk of early death. That's not a number to jog past (or if so, then you're literally jogging because it's more dangerous to stay on the couch). Move minutes are the simplest measure, any time you spend moving your body counts.

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So what's the doctor's recommendation for move minutes? The Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 move minutes per week, and that amounts to about 20 minutes per day (if you exercise every day). That might seem small enough, but the challenge for most people is getting that into a regular schedule. Only 1 in 5 Americans are getting enough exercise right now, so if this is a challenge for you, you're not the only one.

Again, move minutes are any time you're moving your body, so this might be more simple than it seems at first. Simple stretching in the morning or in the evening can help you get some move minutes in. I prefer basic stretching to more advanced yoga because I'm able to do it at my desk without any equipment. If you ever feel any pain or stiffness at your desk, simply stretch a little and chalk up a few minutes for your day.

Heart Points

The next step is to look at the intensity of your exercise. Heart Points (Google's term based on American Heart Association recommendations) measure this important aspect of your routine. The more rigorous the activity, the more Heart Points you'll get in a shorter period of time. The AHA recommends 150 heart points per week.

Consistent exercise during your work week will probably get you close to this goal, but your weekend is a great time to get those final points. You don't need to run to get over the guideline, it will probably be as simple as walking to somewhere nearby or getting out to a park. There's something to be said for any exercise that doesn't feel like work; find something you'll like doing whether you were adding up those Heart Points or not.

Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels

So, what's a healthy exercise routine look like? It can be as simple as stretching a little at your desk, making time in your work schedule to take a short walk every day, and going on a long walk in the park on the weekend. This simple routine is healthier than how most Americans exercise right now. The key to all of this is consistency, finding how to get this routine to become such a strong habit that you'd have to force yourself to stop instead of forcing yourself to start.


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