Finding time to exercise

Fit Fitness Into Your Life

by Michelle Medlock Adams

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Exercise on the Job

Life is busy. That's why the number one excuse for not exercising regularly is: "I just don't have time." But guess what? There IS time-even in your busy schedule. You just have to find it. So, read on and learn 10 ways to work exercise into your already jam-packed life.

Finding Time to Exercise Number 1: Plan Ahead

You have to approach exercise as if it's a meeting or a commitment you can't get out of. So, take out your planner and look for open time slots. Then, start penciling in "exercise." That's a start! If it's on your calendar, you will be more likely to do it.

Finding Time to Exercise Number 2: Rise And Shine

If you're a morning person, this may be the best option for you. Set your alarm 30 minutes early at least three days a week, and use that time to work out. You can take a brisk walk or do an exercise video. Just get up and get moving. You'll feel better all day, really! OK, so the first couple of mornings are going to be difficult, but soon your body will adjust to the new schedule. And, some exercise experts believe 20 minutes of aerobic exercise on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning, is as effective as doing 90 minutes of aerobic work later in the day. So, rise and shine!

Finding Time to Exercise Number 3: Get Off The Phone

Studies have shown that an average American spends at least three hours per week talking on the telephone (outside of work.) So, hang up on your best buddy and go for a walk together. You can catch up on recent happenings and solve a lot of problems while pounding the pavement.

Finding Time to Exercise Number 4: Turn Off The TV

Studies have also revealed that the average American watches about 10 hours of TV each week. Use part of your designated TV time to work out. Take a walk around your neighborhood and enjoy the great outdoors, or hop on your bike and ride to the park. If you just can't miss your favorite programs, don't cuddle up in your comfy chair with a bag of chips. Instead, get on a treadmill or an exercise bike and sweat away the minutes of your sitcom. The time will go faster if you're watching a show you enjoy, and before you know it, you will have completed 30 minutes of aerobic exercise.

Finding Time to Exercise Number 5: Ditch Your Car

Once or twice a week declare, "A No Car Day." What does that mean? It means running errands by walking to and from your destinations. This, of course, will only work if you live in the city. You'll enjoy the time alone, get a quick and convenient workout, avoid traffic, and take in some needed fresh air all at the same time.

Finding Time to Exercise Number 6: Park Far Away

Instead of circling the grocery store parking lot, searching for that parking space nearest the store, park in the very back of the lot. This will force you to walk at least three to five minutes to and from the store. A few minutes of movement here and a few minutes there are better than no minutes at all. They add up.

Finding Time to Exercise Number 7: Take The Stairs

If your office building has an elevator, don't use it! Always opt for the stairs. Just think, if you burn only 20 calories a day by choosing the stairs over the elevator, at the end of a five-day work week, you will have burned 100 calories. Multiply that 100 calories by 52 weeks, and you've burned an extra 5200 calories by the end of the year. Every little bit helps!

Finding Time to Exercise Number 8: Shape and Bake

You have to fix dinner, right? So, use that time to your advantage. It takes about 20 minutes to bake chicken breasts, so while you' re baking, start that flab shaking! Use those precious minutes to do a quick workout tape; hop on your exercise bike; or put on your favorite music and dance the pounds away! (You might want to close the drapes just in case you have nosey neighbors!)

Finding Time to Exercise Number 9: Reading, Writing and Aerobics

Incorporate your children's homework time into your exercise time. How? Well, if you're working on spelling words with your children, make an exercise game of it. Spell each word while doing rhythmic jumping jacks. At the end of the spelling list, you will have broken a good sweat, and your children will be sure to ace their spelling tests. This same game plan works with math, too. It's a great way to get the kids involved in exercise while making homework fun.

Finding Time to Exercise Number 10: Trade Lunch For Lunges

Use half of your lunch hour and take a brisk walk around your office building. Or, run to a nearby gym and take a 30-minute power-lunch class. Today, many companies have their own gym, so that makes it even easier to slip in a workout. If you're a homemaker, get a group of women together twice a week for salad and sweat. Eat a light lunch together and then do 20 minutes of kickboxing. You'll even begin to look forward to your noon workout sessions.

Seem impossible? It's not. You can do it. Find a workout partner and encourage each other onto fitness. You'll be more likely to work out at your designated times if you have a workout pal waiting for you and holding you accountable. So, get motivated and get moving. You've got the time. You've got a plan. You've got a goal. Now, go for it!

Take the Next Step

  • For professionally designed workouts and training plans for literally any goal you have, visit the sports fitness advisor!
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