January 5, 2016
Surprisingly Simple Ways to Fit Fitness into Your Schedule
There are many benefits that come with being physically fit – improvements in body image and mood, better mental health and decreased stress, a stronger immune system … the list goes on.
In fact, most of these benefits are well-known, yet many people still struggle with setting time aside to exercise.
The recommended amount of time that adults should exercise per week is 150 minutes, or 2 1/2 hours. This equates to 30 minutes of exercise five times a week.
However, exercising does not have to be completely strenuous. The activity should allow you to carry on a conversation, but not sing a song easily. While exercising, your body also should feel warmer than normal, but you don’t need to be sweaty.
There are many barriers that can stand between a person’s intentions to get fit and actually getting fit. These barriers can include anything from finances, time and physical health conditions to low confidence, intimidation and access to exercise facilities.
Without the correct approach, taking the first step and staying physically active can be daunting.
Here are a few ways to fit fitness into your day, even with a tight schedule:
- Schedule it. Your calendar is full of meeting times, lunch appointments, birthdays and more; treat exercising the same way. Set up appointments in various disciplines dedicated to making a better and healthier you.
- Plan ahead. Run out of time in the morning? Get your clothes ready the night before. Notorious for skipping a workout if you go home right after work? Keep an extra pair of workout clothes in the car. Cover yourself in all ways possible to avoid skipping a workout.
- Ten at a time. If working out for 30 minutes straight is too intimidating, chop this time up into smaller sections. Commit 10 minutes before and after work to walking, and add in a 10-minute walk during lunch. The minutes really do add up!
- Find strength in numbers. Knowing someone is waiting for you to workout helps keep you accountable. Also, joining a group exercise class can be a constant reminder that there are others on the same journey to fitness as you.
- Be an active parent. Instead of waiting in the car during your child’s practice or sitting on the sidelines at a game, use this time to exercise. Walk up and down the length of the court or take a jog around the park to show support while keeping your health in mind.
- Know the little things add up. If finding time to exercise is an issue, make it a goal to get up and moving throughout the day. Walk to a coworker’s desk to deliver a message instead of phoning them, take the stairs instead of the elevator or park your car further from your destination. Find ways to make your daily responsibilities more active and assist in decreasing time dedicated to structured workout programs.
- Bury the excuses. It is completely your decision to make exercising a priority. Once this is done, lay the excuses to rest. Instead of saying, “I’m too tired,” know that working out will increase your energy levels in the long run.
- Keep it fun! There is much more to physical activity than your typical gym membership! If you don’t enjoy working out indoors, explore activities outside to keep you motivated. Turn to other activities like hiking, ballroom dancing, paddle boarding, active-based video games, adult sports leagues and more!
After finding the time to fit in the physical activities that you enjoy, it is important to look at all of the positive achievements you have made. Set small goals and reward yourself once you accomplish them.
Maintaining a positive mindset and remaining patient will keep you motivated on your journey of physical fitness.