"I don't have enough time to exercise"... "I am too busy to exercise"... "How can I possibly fit exercise into my busy schedule?" ... I often hear my clients, friends, and family say these things when talking about exercise, but I have some great tools to help solve this issue! Read on to learn how you CAN fit exercise into your busy schedule!
This week's Fitness Tip: How to FIT Exercise into a Busy Schedule
Now, I know that everyone is busier than ever with the fast-paced society that we live in ... but that doesn't mean that we have to neglect one of the most important aspects of health and longevity ---> EXERCISE! I am often asked "what is the BEST exercise to do with limited time?" and my answer is always "the BEST form of exercise is the type that you ENJOY most and can do routinely." You can go for a long walk with your dog, go for a jog with a friend, swim laps, play a sport, or ride your bike outside with your family. You can also join a gym or take fitness classes to help keep you motivated and accountable. Exercise doesn't have to look the same for everyone - the important part is that you are staying active, moving your body, and meeting the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans to ensure a long and healthy life down the road!
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (PAG or Guidelines) provide guidance on how children and adults can improve their health through physical activity. The main point is that people who are physically active are healthier and less likely to develop many chronic diseases than those who aren’t active — regardless of their gender or ethnicity. Some physical activity is better than none — and any amount has health benefits. Here is a brief summary of the Guidelines:
For substantial health benefits, do one of the following:
- 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) each week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (such as brisk walking or tennis)
- 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) each week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity (such as jogging or swimming laps)
- An equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity
Do aerobic physical activity in episodes of at least 10 minutes and, if possible, spread it out through the week.
Do muscle-strengthening activities (such as lifting weights or using resistance bands) that are moderate or high intensity and involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.
Many adults will need to do more than the 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity as part of a program to lose weight or keep it off. These adults should do more physical activity and/or further reduce their caloric intake. Some people will need to do the equivalent of 300 or more minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week to meet their weight-control goals.
The goal is to expend an additional 500 calories per day OR eat 500 calories less per day to lose 1 pound per week! For weight control, vigorous-intensity activity is far more time-efficient and effective than moderate-intensity activity.
What if you hate to exercise or go to the gym? No worries! There are so many different options to help you meet these Guidelines without stepping foot in a regular gym!
- Spin class
- Aerobics class
- Body Pump
- Kick Boxing
- Cross Fit
- Walk, run, swim outside
- Go for a hike
- Rock climbing (inside options too!)
- Play with your kids / grandkids
- Play with your dog
- Wii Fit (active video games)
- At home fitness DVD’s
- Free Workouts (Free Fitness Friday)
Still can't find the time to FIT in exercise? There are several simple activities and exercises that you can do at work and at home….
- Walk or bike to work
- Take the stairs (multiple times a day)
- Use a stand up desk
- Walk to the water fountain (multiple times a day)
- Go on a “walk meeting” with colleagues or during a conference call…
See? There are many ways to FIT in exercise in a busy schedule! Now that you know the recommended Guidelines and simple ways to meet those guidelines, you just need to start a plan and stick to it! Motivation is KEY! Not a super motivated person? Try some of these tips to help you stay motivated!
- Set your goal and work towards it every day! (Make a contract with yourself!)
- Find a gym buddy / fitness friend to help keep you accountable
- Work with a personal trainer (best results and accountability)
- Join a fitness challenge (Biggest Loser competition)
- Sign up for a road race (5K – Marathon) or Adventure Run (Tough Mudder)
- Buy yourself a fitness tracker and challenge yourself and friends to get the most steps each day!
** Not sure which fitness tracker to get? Check out this AWESOME review of The Best Fitness Trackers (from Review.com) to see which trackers are most accurate and offer the features you are looking for! Regardless of which tracker you choose to use, just know that every fitness tracker will enable you to see just how active (or inactive) you are each day and will help keep you motivated to beat your previous step / calorie-burn record!
Remember, you only have ONE body …. Treat it right, move it, and nourish it! So please try to do one thing that gets you moving and gets your heartrate up today! And remember, I am always here if you have any questions or just need a little more help staying motivated!