When discussing exercise with clients, I often hear, “I would, but I don’t have time”. While this is a reality for many of us with so much going on in our lives, I also think that it is easy to think we don’t have time when we don’t make it a priority. There is also a mistaken belief that you must devote 30-60 minutes for physical activity to “count”. The reality is that ANY amount of movement is healthy for us. Even if it is only 10 minutes or less broken up throughout the day. Here are some quick tips on how you can sneak a little more movement into your day…..
1. Park further away when running errands. Circling the parking lot to find the closest spot will not do your body any good. Plus, usually by the time you have found a spot, you could have walked to the building.
2. Take microbreaks at work. If you take a 3-5 minute walk once per hour while you are at work, that really adds up! By the end of the day, you have 24-40 minutes of physical activity. Take the long way to the restroom or drinking fountain. Take the stairs to another floor to use the restroom. Not only does that add up for your health, but it also makes you a more productive employee. This is particularly true around that 3 pm energy crash. There is research to prove it!
3. Walk for half of your lunch break. Even if you only have a 30 minute break, walking for 15 minutes gives you a mental and physical boost! Taking your lunch to work will help give you the time you need to make this one happen. Not only will that mean you have time to walk, but you will also be eating healthier.
4. Have a dance party with your kids. Not only will this get you moving, but your kids will LOVE it! Pick 3-4 songs and just go to town. Your heart rate will come up and you are making memories that your kids will appreciate.
5. Take a family walk after dinner. This is a great way to spend time as a family and avoid the “I’m not hungry, but I can’t stay out of the fridge” syndrome that often happens after dinner.
6. Get your sweat on during commercials. We all need to relax. Most people use TV to do that. There is nothing wrong with taking a break, but often that break stretches 3 or 4 hours into the evening. We never realize how much time we spend doing this because one show just bleeds into the next until we realize it is time for bed. One way to use the time wisely is build your exercise time in with it. If you have a treadmill in the room and can walk while you watch, great, but that isn’t feasible for most people. Instead, what you can do is take a couple of dumbbells with you and do some strength training during the commercials. At about 3 minutes each, you can have a full workout in 1 or 2 shows.
When you think you don’t have time, just get a little creative. You will feel better physically and mentally if you regularly take time for physical activity. When it comes to weight loss, we can definitely take in calories faster than we burn them, but exercise is just as important as how and what you eat if you have weight loss goals. Even if you start small, you will start to notice changes in your bod. It will be gradual, but if you stick with it, it will happen.