One of the most common reasons people give for not exercising is the lack of time, but there are tried and true ways to make fitness part of even the busiest daily routines.
It’s true, today we live in very busy times, and fitting exercise time into an already demanding schedule is certainly challenging if not outright overwhelming. Fortunately, there are ways to fit exercise into your day, as long as you’re willing to be creative and determined. Here are five quick suggestions:
1. Make exercise part of your routine– Research shows that even small bouts of exercise can offer positive benefits if done consistently and over the long term. Our caveman ancestors didn’t exercise for the sake of exercise, physically challenging tasks were simply part of their day. You can do the same in a limited way. Park your car farther from your destination and walk the extra distance. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Maybe you can even incorporate isometric exercises at your desk or at home. It may not seem like much, but it’s much better for your health and fitness than doing nothing at all.
2. Wake up 30 minutes earlier – Yes, this one may be painful to contemplate, but research indicates that people who exercise early in the morning tend to be more consistent in their fitness routines than those who wait until later in the day. If you wait until later, there are just so many more opportunities for something to happen that could derail your workout plans.
3. Wear a pedometer – You’d probably be surprised to find out how far you walk in a typical day. Wearing a pedometer will give you some feedback on your everyday activities and give you more motivation to stay active.
4. Incorporate exercise into your leisure activities – The biggest key to staying consistent with your exercise plan is to find something you love to do that involves exercise. You don’t just have to go to the gym and sweat it out, if you enjoy riding your bike or playing tennis, or even golfing, incorporate these activities into your plan. The less it seems like work, the more consistent you’re likely to be.
5. Join a group – Peer pressure doesn’t just work on teenagers. If you join a group or club, or even just find one or two like minded friends who want to exercise with you, you’ll be more likely to find a way to fit it in. If you have a group fitness activity scheduled, it seems more “official” and important, and you’re more likely to schedule time for it. It’s the same if you know your workout partners are counting on you to attend. We’re more likely to find time if we fear letting others down.
Ultimately, finding time to exercise comes down to a choice. The question is whether you are willing to put yourself first and schedule a few minutes per day to help improve your health, fitness and mood. And there can only be one correct answer: you’re worth it!
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