Busy Person’s Guide to Sneaking in Exercise

 

I’m sure at some point or another we have all found reason’s not to exercise…its’ too cold out,  the kids won’t let me, I’ve had a long stressful day at work, and so on. Although life does sometimes get in the way, we all can carve out some valuable “me” time no matter how small the window is. A common myth is that if you can’t do it for more than 1 hour or every day then it’s just a waste of time. This is so not true, and remember that some exercise is so much better than no exercise!   It’s all about prioritizing and being efficient. Additional research by the American Heart Association continues to show that even  2.5 hours a week of moderate activity can reduce the occurrence of heart disease by 14%. That’s a little more than 20 minutes a day!  If that sounds too daunting you can break it up into smaller chunks. Try walking the dog or going for a 10-15 min bike ride. You may find yourself looking forward to this little break in your day to unwind or clear your head.

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If you find yourself running out the door , think  ahead  by having a pair of sneakers and workout clothes in your car. That way you will always be prepared and can’t make the excuse to skip your workout. Getting in a short
walk during your lunch break may be what you need to start moving, and will help with the mid afternoon fatigue that can set in from sitting all day. Maybe the only time you have is to exercise in the evening. Consider taking a Yoga class to distress and unwind after a long day.  Or, if you are an early riser get your motor running with an outdoor Boot Camp class. What ever you choose make it something you enjoy. If it doesn’t fit your personality or lifestyle you may not stick to it.   By all means, try to keep a schedule for your fitness routine. Pencil in your workouts on  your calendar or set a reminder in your phone, just like you would any other appointment.
Motivation is key, so give yourself a goal or join a work or gym challenge to hold you accountable. It is more fun to work with other’s than to go at it alone, and it may help you develop a new healthy habit along the way.

We all want to get more work done in less time.  If you are looking for “more bang for your buck” try a HIIT (high intensity interval training” or Tabata style workout. Both of these formats include alternating quick bouts of high intensity work with equal or shorter recovery periods.The catch is that it needs to be done at an almost all out effort in order for you to burn a higher amount of calories, increase your v02 max, and  to keep your metabolism stoked after the workout is done.   This type of workout may be a busy person’s dream come true, since you could possibly cut your workout time in half and still gain the same benefits as other forms of exercise at a longer duration. Although HIIT  can be modified to varying fitness levels, individuals who are new to this type of exercise need to ease into it and work at a level that feels challenging without compromising their form.
So, bottom line is, move every day, whether it’s gardening, food shopping or washing your car. Every little bit counts toward a more active, healthy and happier you!

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