Find Time for Fitness — Even When You’re Busy {Guest Post}

Posted by Jenna | Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that adults between the ages of 18 and 64 get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week. The CDC further recommends that adults perform two weekly sessions of strength training, consisting of two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions working all the major muscle groups. That sounds like a lot of exercise to fit into a hectic schedule, doesn’t it?

Well, the good news is that you don’t have to do it all at once! You can break it up into manageable chunks of time — as few as 10 minutes, three times a day and five days a week is enough! When you break up your exercise periods into smaller chunks, it’s easy to find time in your schedule for fitness. You can find time for fitness by taking the stairs, cycling to work, walking a dog, parking further from your destination or even by using your daily chores as a chance to elevate your heart rate. Let’s take a closer look at squeezing fitness into a busy schedule.

Get Moving Whenever You Can

Your average day is probably already filled with opportunities for exercise that you just haven’t noticed. Do you normally take the elevator at work? Take the stairs instead! Park a little farther from the office, or get off the bus a stop early to squeeze in a few minutes of walking time.
On your breaks at work, do exercises at your desk. Do leg lifts while seated in your chair. Brace your hands on your chair arms and use your arms to slowly lift yourself out of the seat. Stand up and do neck rolls, quad stretches or hamstring stretches. Take a brief stroll around the office if you get the chance.
Shopping trips and other errands are also full of opportunities for exercise. When you go shopping, park at the back of the lot — those minutes you spend walking to the store count toward your weekly fitness goals! Take an extra lap inside the store, or use a basket to carry your shopping if you’re only picking up a few things. If you have an appointment, arrive a few minutes early and use the extra time to walk around a little before you go inside.

Make Time for Movement at Home

If you have a dog, walking is a great fitness activity for both of you. Taking your dog on a walk keeps you both happy and healthy. Even if you don’t have a dog, you can still make time for a walk or a bike ride early in the morning or after work. Or you could do a good deed and offer to walk a neighbor’s dog.
Get the whole family in on the fun: Play catch with your kids or go on a romantic hike with your partner. Family outings are a great opportunity for fitness. Swimming, skiing, ice sledding, parent-and-child yoga classes or playing at the park are just some of the possibilities.
Even if you don’t have time for an outing, you can still make time for exercise at home. Walk in place while watching television, or buy a set of small hand weights and use them for strength training while you watch your favorite programs. Even getting up and walking across the room to change the channel the old-fashioned way can make a difference.

Turn Chores Into Mini-Workouts

Household chores are wonderful opportunities to get some exercise, especially since many chores are a little bit strenuous anyway. Mop your floor, scrub your shower or vacuum your carpets at a faster pace to raise your heart rate and log some aerobic exercise minutes toward your weekly goal.
Yard work is another great way to wedge some exercise time into a tight schedule. Do you like to garden? Raking, hoeing, digging, weeding and cultivating can all become aerobic activities if you do them at a brisk pace. Mowing the lawn with a push mower is also an excellent workout, especially if you have a big lawn! The best part is that many of these activities also double as strength-training exercises, since they require you to use the major muscle groups in your legs, back, arms and shoulders.
Making time in your schedule for exercise doesn’t have to be hard, even if you’re busy. Remember, you don’t have to work out for hours and hours to feel the benefits. Just two and a half hours of aerobic exercise per week and two sessions of strength training exercises is enough. By breaking your exercise time up into manageable pieces, you can easily find all the time you need for fitness.

About the Author: Desiree Williams is a contributing writer and yoga teacher in San Francisco. She personally recommends the diet to go food delivery program, which has helped her lose more than 30 pounds.

  1. mommy2luke2008 June 12, 2013 at 7:32 PM  

    I like the tip about using housework to fit in a little exercise. I've been trying to swim some laps and do leg lifts in the pool when we are swimming. I also like to just put some music on and dance!

  2. Amy Orvin June 14, 2013 at 6:46 AM  

    I have such a hard time staying motivated. I do like the tip about the housework. I feel like that's all I do anymore.

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