Fitting in Exercise for the Busy Person
I'm just too busy to exercise - you've heard that, or maybe even said it. This article is meant as a wakeup call - stop making excuses and get thinking of ways to make time for your fitness or incorporate it into that oh so busy life.
Exercise tends to be something that many people fear, despite its benefits. It not only helps you lose weight and keep it in check, but it also is the best way to prevent diseases. Diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and increased mental function are just some of the benefits. You already know all that though, don't you?
Despite this, many Americans don’t actually make the effort to exercise. They feel like it’s a chore, or they use their busy lives as an excuse as to why they don’t work out. The latter seems valid.
They say you need 150 minutes a week in order to stay as healthy as possible, and that’s just the minimum requirement. This can mean that you need to work out three to five days a week, depending on the intensity. To stay fit, doctors recommend adding weight training to your workout at least twice a week as well. Yeah, yeah - we know!
Throw in the effects of cold winter days - and no-one wants to keep up that healthy workout regime!
With that said, there is a way for even the workiest workaholic to find the time to exercise. Here are ten ways you can squeeze a workout into your hectic day.
Be less convenient. Just making some mild changes to your daily routine can add some burn to your chores. For example, instead of carrying multiple grocery bags from your car to your house, do it one at a time. Put away your laundry in small trips instead of one giant one. Making these subtle changes will bring a surprising increase in the amount of calories you burn.
Stop using devices that reduce labor. Instead of taking your car to the automatic car wash, try one that allows you to wash it by hand. This will add plenty of exercise to your routine. When mowing the lawn, invest in a push mower instead of one that you have to ride.
When going somewhere, try taking the long or less convenient way. Assuming that you’re not going up 20 flights, skip the elevator or escalator for some stairs. If you use the subway or bus to travel, stop at a further distance and walk. At a store, park as far as possible and walk. Adding these little touches to your routines adds more labor, and makes you burn more.
Move your exercising to the morning. In fact, you can wake up earlier and exercise in the morning, if you want to. Exercising later on, especially after work, can be a horrible motivation, especially if you’re tired after a long day. But exercising in the morning can actually get you pumped and ready to start your day.
Plan ahead. Write down where you’re going to work out, what time, and which exercises you’re going to do. Keep it all in one planner, whether it’s digital or physical. By doing this, you can figure out the best way to squeeze your workout. Don't stop exercising when you travel - I have an article about that!
Add a pedometer to your workout. Pedometers calculate how many steps you have taken, and can even tell you the amount of calories you’ve burnt. You can see how much you should walk, and realizing that it doesn’t take long at all to build up a good workout can keep you motivated.
When weight training, make sure you know what you’re doing! Messing up can cause serious injury if you’re not careful. Consult a personal trainer if you have the time, or watch some training videos, whether online or on a DVD.
Similar to the planner rule, keep a diary and write down your activities and how long you did them for. By looking at what you’ve done, you can get motivated. If you see you’re working out less, you’ll want to make up for it.
Get a group going! Whether it’s a friend or just another workout buddy, find someone who does the same activities you do. Whether it’s walking, weight training, or what have you, call up a friend and schedule a date. Another good way to motivate yourself is to listen to music or an audio book. It passes the time quickly.
If you don’t like your workout, change it up. The key to having a good workout is to do something that you like doing, instead of forcing an activity that you don’t like. This is vital.
So as you can see, there are ways to implement exercise in a busy life. Exercise doesn't need to be structured all of the time. Sure, going to the gym and using the elliptical trainer at home are ideal ways to keep fit - but just adding some work to your life can help enormously.
Try to have some time for structured workouts but also take a look at you daily life and think of ways to increase fitness levels while going about your daily routines. You'll be amazed at the things you can come up with and the overall effects - if you stick at it! Next!