When you lead a busy life, the thought of exercising for 30 minutes per day might seem impossible. But take a moment to evaluate how you spend your time.
If you press your alarm's "snooze" button repeatedly each morning and lounge in front of the TV every evening, you've got time to squeeze a half-hour workout into your day. Exercising for 30 minutes is immensely beneficial to your health and, depending on the exercise you choose, can burn hundreds of calories to help you lose weight.
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How many calories you'll burn during 30 minutes of exercise depends entirely on what kind of activity you do —and the intensity you exert during that 30 minutes.
Make Time for the Gym
Visiting a gym before your workday or in the evening provides you with a number of exercises to perform to burn calories — even if you visit the gym for just 30 minutes. People who enjoy solo workouts can use the stationary bike or elliptical trainer, while those who favor a group dynamic can sign up for an aerobics class.
A 185-pound person will burn 311 calories in 30 minutes of high-impact aerobics and 466 calories in 30 minutes of using the elliptical trainer or stationary bike at a vigorous pace, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
Feel the Burn at Home
If you're pressed for time, devote 30 minutes to working out at home. Keep the exercises in your home-based workout routine simple to avoid the cost and clutter of excess equipment.
A 185-pound person will burn 200 calories in 30 minutes of moderate calisthenics — which could include jumping jacks, burpees or marching in place with high knees — 266 calories in 30 minutes of aerobic or modern dance, 355 calories in 30 minutes of up-tempo calisthenics and 444 calories jumping rope for half an hour.
Outdoors and Calorie Burn
If you live in an area conducive to outdoor exercise, burning calories in the sun and fresh air can make your 30-minute workout breeze past.
If you enjoy team sports, gather a few friends for a game of half-court basketball at a local school. In 30 minutes, a 185-pound person will burn 355 calories from this activity.
Individual activities are also suitable; the same person will burn 355 calories cycling at a speed of 12 to 13.9 mph, 266 calories swimming laps at a moderate pace and 488 calories rock climbing.
Daily Exercise for Better Health
Scheduling 30 minutes per day for exercise might force you to juggle your schedule, but the benefits you'll reap from the workout will greatly improve your quality of life. Thirty minutes of cardio exercise helps you meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommendation that adults get 150 to 300 minutes of moderately-intense cardio exercise per week.
Regular exercise, notes the American Heart Association, helps you manage your weight, strengthen your bones and muscles, improve your emotional well-being and live a longer life.
- American Heart Association: "Why Is Physical Activity so Important for Health and Wellbeing?"
- Harvard Health Publishing: “Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights”
- Health.gov: “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans”
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Balancing Calories