Does your schedule seem too full to fit in exercise? Our days are full of busy schedules as we balance multiple roles, like parent, spouse, employee, volunteer, etc., and often exercise gets put at the bottom of the “to do” list. However, research continually shows the importance of an active lifestyle to minimize our risk of chronic disease. The CDC recommends adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, every week and weight training or muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).
The good news is that you can spread your activity out during the week, so you don’t have to do it all at once. You can even break it up into smaller chunks of time during the day. It’s about what works best for you, as long as you’re doing physical activity at a moderate or vigorous effort for at least 10 minutes at a time.
Here are 5 ways to sneak exercise into your routine:
- Set your alarm 30 minutes early – and resist the urge to snooze. A quick session in the morning can be a terrific start to your day. There are many online and “on demand” workout videos. Simply search by the type of exercise or length of time on YouTube or Google the night before and save it on your phone or computer so you are ready to go in the morning. And if waking early is difficult for you, keep your focus on the affect the exercise will have on you once you are finished. Envision the feeling of accomplishment and energy as you start your day.
- Incorporate exercise into daily activities. Have you tried to hold a squat while brushing your teeth? Doing push-ups or jumping jacks during TV commercials? Simple moves will help work major muscle groups through muscle-strengthening activities and these small changes will help the minutes add up to the 150 minutes per week goal.
- Park further away and take the stairs. Try parking further away when going to the grocery store and carrying your bags instead of using a cart on your way out. Or take the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator. Small changes add up over time if you are consistent.
- Utilize the reminder function on your fitness tracker or smart watch. The technology in our watches has come along way. Fitness trackers, like Fitbit, allow you to set a reminder to get up and move every hour.
- …and log those steps doing something you enjoy. Did you love to roller skate or rollerblade when you were younger? Exercise does not have to be logging miles on a treadmill or in a gym. Activity is about doing something you love that brings you joy. It could be doing the monkey bars at the park with the kids. Or playing tag in the front yard. So, dust off those old skates, shoot some hoops, or go for a bike ride….and have fun while you are at it!
Before beginning any exercise program, remember to always consult your physician. If you have questions about getting active, give Hart Chiropractic in Geneva a call at 630.262.1421.