Does the word “exercise” make you shake with terror? While many people think exercise is evil, it is necessary to your well-being. Exercising helps you lose weight, prevent illnesses like heart disease, osteoporosis and diabetes, and keeps you mentally sharp.
However, getting an exercise regimen going that you will stick to or fit your regular exercise regimen into your busy schedule can be challenging. It is recommended by the American Heart Association and other organisations, you get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise in five days or 20 minutes of vigorous exercise at least three days a week. In addition to aerobic exercise, weight training or resistance training to help build your muscles and endurance should be included at least twice a week.
So how do you fit it all into your week?
Make simple tasks a bit more difficult.
Instead of trying to make tasks easier and be efficient, make them harder. Try bringing your groceries in one bag at a time so you get your walking in. Put away smaller groups of laundry instead of piling them all in a basket.
Don’t use labour-saving devices.
Don’t use a riding lawn mower when you can use a push mower. Hand wash your car instead of running it through the car wash. By doing basic chores such as these by hand, you can get more exercise.
Take the long way around.
When walking around the office or the local mall, take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Park further from the door. This helps get your heart rate up and gets some aerobic exercise in.
Exercise in the morning.
Exercising in the morning helps get your blood pumping and your energy flowing. People who exercise in the morning also tend to stick with the regimen they created.
Schedule your exercise in your daily planner.
Write it down. Treat it like it’s an appointment you need to keep. It will help you stay on track.
Count your steps.
5,000 to 10,000 steps a day is not that hard to accomplish. Invest in a good pedometer and keep it on you as go through your day. When you see how close to your goal you are, you’ll want to get the rest in.
Get professional help.
If you plan on doing weight training and you have never done it before, consider talking to a personal trainer at the gym or buy a weight-training DVD to help you get started. If you lift weights incorrectly, you run the risk of hurting yourself.
Track your exercise.
Keep a logbook of your workouts. Every day, write down your exercise and how long you did it for. You will be able to see how far you’ve come and empty pages will drive you nuts.
Exercise with a partner.
If you have a friend that is also trying to get exercise into their day, make an exercise date with them. Walk together. Have them work out with you at the gym. No friend? Listen to some music or an audiobook while you work out.
Engage in exercise you enjoy.
Whether you like to walk, kickbox or jazzercise, it’s important to do something that you like. You will be more likely to keep doing it then see it as a chore.