Our lives are overflowing with responsibilities and activities. We work, take care of our families, volunteer, commute to work, drive children around, and socialize with friends. With all that going on, it is easy to say, “I am too busy to exercise.” Despite research that indicates that not exercising is worse for your health than smoking is, not having enough time is one of the top excuses for not exercising according to the Heart Foundation. The good news is that, even with hectic schedules, it is possible to fit exercise into your life. The following tips can help.
Incorporate activity into your daily tasks
There are numerous ways to add steps or activity to your day. When you shop, park at the edge of the parking lot, walk up the steps instead of taking the elevator, use your lunch hour to take a walk or stand up while talking on the phone. If you sit at a desk most of the day, get up once an hour or 90 minutes and walk to the breakroom, restroom, or even just stand and stretch for a few minutes.
Keep track of your activity
The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes per week of heart-pumping physical activity, although they acknowledge that any activity is better than none at all, so don’t let that number scare you! Keep track of how long you are active to see how close you come to 150 minutes per week. You can use paper or one of the many popular habit tracking apps and devices.
Enlist a partner
Image via Flickr by mistyj26
Having someone to accompany you on a walk or to go to the gym with not only helps motivate you but helps keep you accountable to someone besides yourself. It is harder to come up with excuses why you shouldn’t exercise when someone is counting on you. Working together helps both of you stay motivated and accountable.
Add exercise to your schedule
Set a specific time each day to exercise. You are less likely to skip exercising when you build it into your daily schedule than when you decide to fit it in when you have time. Whether first thing in the morning, during lunch, or after work, choose the time that works best for you and then build your schedule around it.
Technology and video
Fitbits have been great at getting people moving, motivating some to reach the 10,000 steps goal each day. Other advances in technology, including personal video fitness classes, can assist you in becoming more active from the comfort of your own home. The rise of this new technology lets individuals sign up for the classes they enjoy, at a price that benefits them, and with on-demand access means that your schedule is yours, no longer dictated by a gym or personal trainer.
While it can be difficult to add exercise into your busy life, the benefits of being active are undeniable. These small changes can have a huge impact and are important to consider.