“I’m just too busy to exercise. I don’t have any time!” How many times have you said that? If you are like most people, you’ve probably said it quite a few times. But would you ever say, “I’m too busy to eat,” or “I’m too busy to sleep”? No, because that would be ridiculous, right? You know that your body requires both food and sleep. So, why give that excuse for exercising? Physical activity may not be an absolute necessity like food and sleep, but it ranks closely behind them. It’s very important to make the time for exercise just as you make time for eating and sleeping.
To help make the mental switch, stop thinking of exercise in only the traditional gym sense. You don’t have to run or take an aerobics class to satisfy your weekly fitness requirement. Any type of physical activity is better than none at all. For example, if you are very inactive, then simply doing some work around the house is a good place to start. Or, if you are already fitting in a couple of exercise routines a week, then think about adding in little things (like always taking the stairs) to help add to your physical activity quota.
Below are some examples of how to incorporate physical activity into your every day routines. So, quit stalling and start moving!
- Make exercise part of family time: take a family walk after dinner or play a game of tag with your kids
- Fit in a little exercise at work: if you have your own office, close the door and try a few of these low-intensity (e.g. should be sweat-proof!) moves:
- Wall push-ups
- Tricep dips
If you don’t have an office, take a few 10-minute breaks a day and walk up and down the stairs or take a walk around your building
- Break your daily exercise into 10 minute cardio bursts, 3 times per day
- Exercise while you watch your favorite t.v. show – a good exercise for t.v. watching is lifting weights
- Catch up with a friend on the telephone and do some exercise while you chat
Of course, to get the most health benefits (and to lose weight or build muscles), you need to do moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise 3-5 times per week for 20-30 minutes and strength train at least twice a week. But, if you are finding it hard to take that first step and to stop making excuses then starting with small things like the suggestions above will help. And once you start incorporating these activities, you’ll soon want to take the next step toward more intense fitness routines.
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