Can You Dedicate Three Hours a Week to Physical Activity?

Can You Dedicate Three Hours a Week to Physical Activity?
Can You Dedicate Three Hours a Week to Physical Activity?
Original image from Pexels

As I continue writing my No Excuses Fitness book, my goal on this blog is to post an article about fitness at least once a month.

Over 4 years ago I wrote an article about how much time we all need to dedicate to being physically active. This is an update to that post.

Did you know that there are 168 hours in a week? Go ahead, count them. Seems like a lot.

To briefly summarize, within this 168 hours, 40 hours are used for work, school or your vocation. This is for an average person. Sleeping uses up 56 hours in a week, which equals 8 hours per night, if we are lucky. What is left over is 72 hours a week for personal care which includes leisure time.

Your challenge is to find three hours a week for physical activity. Out of 168 hours in a week, three hours should be do-able. I created this info-graphic to show how the hours are broken down.

Can You Dedicate Three Hours a Week to Physical Activity?

Can You Dedicate Three Hours a Week to Physical Activity?

Let’s tackle this step-by-step.

Step 1: Assess your health. Are you overweight? Are you unable to exercise due to a medical condition or disability? Do you simply need more motivation to be physically active?

Step 2: Identify barriers preventing you from exercising. Some of these barriers include geographical, environmental and structural.

Geographical barriers can be where you work in relation to where you live. Do you have a long commute to and from work? This can eat into your personal care time. Do you live in a part of the country with extreme weather conditions that may prevent you from simply walking outdoors? If your workplace does not have amenities like a gym or area for exercise, this can be a big deterrent to finding time for physical activity.

Environmental barriers include poor access to parks or other leisure spaces in your community. Perhaps there are very few places to safely ride a bicycle near where you live. If you live in an urban environment, walking may be a great exercise option, but that can be hampered by weather, crowds, events, and other deterrents.

Structural barriers to physical activity can be money, transportation, clothing and equipment, or even the skills to participate in an activity.

Lack of time is the ultimate structural barrier.

Step 3: Assess your interests. Simply put, what do you like to do? What were some fun activities you enjoyed as a young person? Are you interested in trying these activities again as an adult? Once you identify your interest, are there barriers getting in your way? This is where many folks talk themselves out of trying something new.

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Step 4: Take action. Now that you have chosen your ideal fitness activity, let’s say “walking”, how will you do this? What time of day works best for you? Can you walk on your lunch break at work? Can you devote 30 minutes, 6 days a week (equals three hours) to walking? If not, how about one hour per day, three days per week? Thirty minutes per day is the minimum time for optimum cardiovascular fitness.

And yes, you can break up the 30 minutes into smaller increments during the day. Ten minutes is the minimum to feel the benefits of cardio. Other action steps include taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. While at work, walk the long way around to the break room or to a meeting. Even adding a few extra steps can add up to small increments that add to your fitness time.

day planner

For years, I worked on my university campus two days a week. For my night class, I purposely parked close to where the classroom is, so when I finished, I could walk safely to my car. But this meant I had to walk at least 10 minutes to get to the building where my office was located. From the parking lot to the office and back to the classroom was at least 20 minutes broken up into 10. I also walked the 4 flights up the stairs on days I was not lugging my rolling cart.

Step 5: Mix up your routine once you take action. Add a few more minutes to your current workout. Try cross-training. This can be as simple as trying a new exercise or activity. If you belong to a gym, try a spin class, Zumba, or boot camp. Adding a completely new and different type of workout exercises new muscles and can invigorate your fitness routine. If gyms are not your thing, check into your local recreation center for exercise or active leisure classes.

Now that I am in my 60s, I also recognize the value of strength training. Even just 20-30 minutes, two days a week of light weights can help strengthen your bones and muscles.

Woman lifting barbell

Step 6: Sustainability. Now that you have created an exercise routine, is it sustainable? If you get bored easily, examine why you are bored. For example, if you walk your dog through the same neighborhood day after day, it can get dull. Perhaps you can walk with a friend or walk in a different neighborhood.

I started walking weekly with a friend from the gym who was also my hairstylist. We walked for no less than one hour exploring nearby neighborhoods and she graciously walked with one of my two dogs.

Joining structured fitness classes with regular attendees and instructors can also be an incentive as it is motivating to see progress in one another.

women lifting weights

If the weather is uncooperative, take a walk in the nearest shopping mall (leave your $ and credit cards at home). Perhaps your community has a walking club associated with the neighborhood recreation center. Exercising with others is a good way to stay accountable and not give up. Plus, it’s FUN!

man and woman pushing stroller

And finally, take a good look at your time. How valuable is your health compared to the time you have left in the day? We easily get caught up in the hectic pace of life and allow our three hours of physical activity to be used up in other ways. Work and family obligations are tough to overcome.

Creating a simple daily schedule for your fitness time should be as high a priority as work and family. If you are unwell, you will not be able to work or take care of your family.

See more of what other folks are doing for their fitness and health!

Janet Mary Cobb A2Z Holistic Self-care: A is for Ask

Sue’s Sizzling Toward Sixty and Beyond Active April

In our busy world, I encourage you to use your time wisely and claim your three hours a week for physical activity!

© Infographic and content copyright-protected through 2025. Some images provided by Unsplash and Pexels

It’s #Time for Sunday Stills!

time for fitness

Oh boy, we are going to have a great time with the theme of TIME this week! A vague concept chosen on purpose with multiple meanings for everyone.

Time for Fitness

exercise equipment

Do you allow time for fitness daily, weekly monthly, or…? I schedule it on my outlook calendar but I guilt myself into exercise enough that I don’t need a reminder. Although this image doesn’t scream “time,” I suppose the exercise balls represent the cyclical nature of time.

Daylight Saving Time

Finding Serenity in a Desert SunriseHere in California, Daylight Saving time ended today. It will be lighter in the mornings (instead of dark until 7:30am here in Northern Cal), but dark by 5pm. Many folks hate the end of daylight saving time, but I prefer my mornings lighter! It’s almost winter, it’s supposed to be dark in the evening!
Ironically Californians vote on whether to make DST permanent beginning next year. Many states and countries do not recognize it any way.

How Time Flies!

wordpress logoI was notified by WordPress of my 7-year blogging anniversary on October 31, 2011. Seems like forever, but I didn’t start consistently blogging until September 2014. Image provided by WordPress.

Another image denoting the passage of time in the form of temperature and seasons.

Image (2) clocknumbers-793x1024.jpg for post 5080

Time for Change

Speaking of time, there are some changes coming to the Sunday Stills challenge.
Beginning January 1, I am discontinuing my InLinkz account for the link-up. Not all bloggers use the link-up, and I pay a small monthly fee to use the service. You can still link up through December 23. Let me know your thoughts on this.

I have not yet published the December dates, but due to extensive travel in late December and into January, there will be no challenge for Dec 30.

Because of this travel time, I’m also looking for a temporary host for the month of January. Since we will be on the road for 2-3 weeks, I’m betting Internet connection will be sporadic, and honestly, I could use a little break from the computer screen.

Please PM me (see menu About Me/Contact) and let me know if you would like to host for one week or 3-4 weeks. I can provide more details with you. I will have the themes chosen and announced on my page in advance, and also short posts from my blog pointing to whomever will co-host. This also can be shared with 2-3 folks.

If no one is interested, we will just take that month off from the challenge.

Welcome 15 New Bloggers to October Sunday Stills Challenge!

A Young Retirement

Venezia E Il Veneto

Sharon’s Blog

Once Upon a Time and Happily Ever After

Donna Maria

Bend Branches

Over 50 Travel Blog

Musings from the Cold

River Valley Wanderer

Lady Lee Manila

Jodie’s Touch of Style

Deb’s World

Quaint Revival

Dandelion Fuzz

Frost on the Moose Dung

I am so happy you could join us today and all this week with your images, stories, poems, or anything that denotes the theme of TIME!

Link up here and/or ping-back to this post. Use the tag time or #Sunday Stills when you publish and share!

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