Family! Work! Dancing with the Stars! How can a person get in a workout during these seemingly packed and congested days?
I was emailed this question and I am going to share with you methods that have worked for me as well as a few other crazy ideas so you can get some regular physical activity.
Why Exercise In The First Place?
The need for some kind of physical activity cannot be understated for a whole wide array of physical and mental benefits. In fact, let’s just take a look of a few benefits associated with regular physical activity.
- Reduced risk factor for coronary artery disease.
- Primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.
- Help control blood lipid abnormalities, diabetes, and obesity.
- Independent blood pressure–lowering effect in certain hypertensive groups.
- The greatest potential for reduced mortality is in the sedentary who become moderately active. Translation: EXERCISE AND LIVE LONGER!
- Role in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and certain neoplastic diseases, notably colon cancer.
- Perform better on tests of cognitive functioning.
- Exhibit reduced cardiovascular responses to stress.
- Report fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Improves self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Sleep better.
- Life just becomes easier – your body and mind work better.
And guess what? You deserve to be healthy. That’s right! You deserve to be healthy!
Ideas to Make it Happen
For something new to enter into your life, you have to create space for it to exist. This could mean either adding, removing, or modifying current aspects of your life. Here are a few possible ways to create the space in your life necessary to run, walk, bike, cycle, yoga, aerobics, weights, or whatever type of movement interests you.
- Physical activity has to be defined as a priority in your life. It has to be near the top of the list, not the bottom. As we know, most things at the bottom of the list or ‘if there is time’ rarely get done in a day.
- Wake up 30(+) minutes earlier to get in the workout.
- Record favorite TV shows so you can skip the commercials when you watch them. (1 hour TV shows have 18 minutes of commercials, 30 minute programs have 8 minutes worth of commercials) Do the math with the number and length of shows you watch to see how much potential free space is available.
- Eliminate TV surfing unless workout is complete. How quickly an hour or an entire evening can disappear.
- Eliminate web surfing unless workout is complete.
- Create a daily or weekly workout schedule (share and discuss with family), stick with it for three weeks and you have yourself a habit that will nearly run on auto-pilot. Plus you partner and family members will know what to expect which can help with anxiety/stress levels.
- Exercise first thing in the morning. Get it done so life won’t create an excuse for you later in the day.
- Exercise during your lunch time. Don’t skip lunch though.
- Communicate with your family members on why exercise is important for you. Let them know that health is a priority in your life and that it will enhance all of the other aspects of family life.
- With young child(ren), some health clubs have free child care so you can bring them with you and get a workout.
- With young child(ren), setup workout swap times with your partner so that you each can get a workout in while the other adult takes care of the child(ren).
- Workout with your child(ren). This is great family time that promotes a positive healthy lifestyle. My wife and I have both done workouts with my son (22 months) using a stroller, jogger, and on the bike with a child bike seat. My son (22 months) already has asked to run with me in the house. “Run Daddy.” We would run a loop or two together in the living room. While at the park, he also asked to go running on the sidewalk.
- Give up a non-priority item in your life. Boom – instant space.
- Exercise at/from home. Save commute time. Body weight exercises; Sit-ups, Push-ups, lunges, squats. Go for a walk/run/bike/etc. Treadmill. Bike trainer. Fitness DVDs. Fitness TV programs.
- Consistent sleep schedule. Inconsistent sleep patterns will often lead to inconsistent life because your energy levels will be all over the place.
- Consistent healthy nutrition. Energy levels go up which increases your potential daily productivity and energy to exercise.
- Meditate or silent reflection for 10 minutes a day. Just focus on your breath. This can calm your mind and add clarity to your thoughts which can also increase productivity in your day. More space.
- Sign up for an event (5k run, bike rally, fitness contest, etc). Committing for an event will typically motivate you to create space to exercise. Nothing like a little fear to get you moving.
- Exercise with your partner.
- Have friends that also like to exercise. When hanging out you could go for a walk, run bike, hike, etc. Quality time and exercise!
- Walk, run, or bike to work.
- Quit your job. Talk about creating space! Consult with your partner before implementing this idea.
What ways have you created more space to exercise in your life?
And remember, you deserve to be healthy.