How does your normal day look like? Once you are up, you make/have breakfast, rush to work, return late at night, have dinner, and retire to bed too tired to do anything else. Or if you are a stay-at-home mom, you get the kids ready for school, do the laundry, put the dishwasher, pick up the kids, shop for groceries on the way, cook for the evening, etc. Have you wondered that while handling so many other chores, you have totally neglected a very important task that should be a part of your everyday routine? Yes, I am talking about exercise! Everyone from college students to working professionals have faced this problem. The importance of exercise in our lives is well-known, yet we are all so busy with work, school, and home, that we neglect it. So now it’s time to squeeze in a few minutes of exercise into our busy routines by altering our habits, so it will help us shed those extra pounds and stay healthy and fit.
Exercising does not always mean working on the treadmill or sweating it out at the gym. Simple everyday activities that get your body moving are a much easier way to incorporate exercises into the daily routine. You do not need to work out for long durations everyday, short spells of workouts as a part of your routine can very well show positive results. In fact, it would be easier to stick to them and you will more likely follow them! All of us know of someone who is as busy, perhaps busier than most of us, but is always in top shape. How does he or she manage to look that way? Regular exercise, definitely. More than that, commitment towards oneself to maintain a healthy body. Thinking and planning about exercising, and actually putting it into action are two entirely different things. So let us see how you can merge an exercise routine with your everyday routine and adopt a healthier lifestyle.
How to Start Exercising When You are Busy
Set Time Apart for Exercise
Do you play a sport? Or are you interested in learning one? Take up the sport and set aside a few minutes everyday so you can play. If you are not into sports, try walking or jogging. Set aside 15-20 minutes for these activities, preferably in the morning. This way you are bound to get up early and start the day with an exercise routine. Do not hit the snooze button on your alarm, or you are bound to snuggle deeper into your bed and not wake up on time! Perhaps walking/jogging are the best ways to start exercising, as they are not overly strenuous and won’t have you dripping in sweat. You can practice yoga as well. A few minutes of yoga everyday will not only tone your body, but rejuvenate and calm your mind, which can be so beneficial in today’s hectic lifestyle. If nothing else works, resolve to take a few minutes walk in the parking lot everyday during lunch break.
To help yourself to keep your date with exercising, mark it in the calendar and put the calendar in a place such that it’s always in front of your eyes. This acts as a visual reminder, and you are less likely to forget your planned workouts. Whatever sport or activity you have taken up, place the required workout gear right where you can see it. Seeing the calendar and the gear will motivate you to work out. Listening to music acts as a stimulus, so keep your iPod handy.
Having kids at home will anyway keep you on your toes most of the time. Still, make it a point to play physical sports with them. Play tag, follow-the-leader, or hopscotch with them, put up a basketball net in your backyard, there are scores of options. What better incentive to exercise than having some fun-filled playtime activities with your children?
Plan a Workout Date with a Friend
Scheduling fitness workouts with a friend or family member is not only fun, but also a good motivational factor. Having someone to nudge you to get up and get moving when you are feeling lazy and lethargic is a bonus. It will also ensure that neither of you skip your daily quota of workouts! Research has proven that working together helps you lose weight faster.
Turn Errands into Workouts
By far, the simplest way to embark on exercising. Whenever you get a chance, WALK! Bid farewell to the elevator, and make the stairway your new friend. If your office or school is really close by, walk or take the bike instead of car. You will be doing a favor not just to your body, but to the environment as well! When you go shopping, park you car as far away as possible from the store, so you are compelled to walk those few extra steps. When you take a coffee break, do some stretching exercises. It also eases tensed muscles and improves blood circulation.
Daily housework chores are good ways to get you moving, so make it a point to do certain things on an everyday basis, like mowing and raking the lawn, dusting the house, vacuuming the carpets, doing the laundry, and washing dishes instead of using the dishwasher. Don’t take your car to the car wash, wash it yourself. If you own a pet, take it for a walk everyday.
Sign Up for a Gym/Class
This is something many people avoid. It’s not that they do not have enough time for it, but once you have joined a gym, you have to go there since you have paid the fees, and they (and that includes most of us) do not want to be bound by it. Gym memberships don’t come cheap, so it’s not something that can be skipped or avoided every now and then. And that’s where commitment comes into picture. So if you really, really want to start exercising, sign up for a gym, or any other sporting class, be it swimming, tennis, or any other sport. When you pay for it, you will attend it, at any cost! If exercise sounds too boring, enroll for a dance class. Various forms of dance classes are a rage nowadays, so join them and dance your way to good health!
Easier said than done? Probably. But after all, it’s your body, and who else but you is responsible for it. Even if you travel frequently, some of the above tips can surely be assimilated into your routine. You need to look for those latent opportunities in your fast-paced schedule to work out. Even a few minutes of exercise give you immense satisfaction and a sense of relaxation, not to mention the added benefits of weight loss and better health! Combined with a healthy diet, exercise will get your heart pumping, and help you to be more alert and energetic throughout the day.