I hear the excuses all the time: “I don’t know how you find time to work out. I’m just so busy…” I’ll be honest. It’s a choice. No, I don’t have much of a life outside of my full time job, the group fitness classes I teach three days a week, and the workouts that I schedule for myself on three of the days I’m not teaching. But working out is like eating, sleeping or breathing to me – I pretty much need it to survive. (At least mentally!)
For those of you who don’t have two hours a day to commit strictly to working out (and maybe think that those of us who do need to find something better to do with our free time), I do have good news: that doesn’t mean you can’t still get some physical activity in each day. Throughout the course of your day, you can fit in 5, 10, 15 – maybe even 60 or more – minutes of exercise, without committing to lacing up your running shoes or hitting the gym.
How? Here are a few ideas:
- Use commercial breaks as exercise breaks. A typical 60-minute program has approximately 12 minutes of commercials – use this time to do sit-ups, push-ups, lunges, jumping jacks … seriously, you know you don’t want to see that smartphone commercial for the 5,000th time.
- Get fit while you brush your teeth … or dry your hair … or wash the dishes. Do some squats instead of just standing there. You’ll end up with clean teeth … or dry hair … or clean dishes … and a tighter backside and leaner legs in time for summer.
- Walk while you talk. Pace the room as you chat on the phone. At work, turn a short discussion into a “walking meeting.” You may not feel like you’re exercising, but those steps still count!
- Workout while you work. Keep a small set of weights, a foot cycle or a resistance band under your desk – and use them as a pick-me-up (a great replacement for a candy bar!) when the 3 p.m. lull hits.
- Play with the kids. They’d rather be outside running around anyway – so why not join them? Play tag, toss around a ball, or just chase them around the backyard. Or, instead of watching soccer practice from the bleachers, take a walk around the track.
The fact is, we are all busy. Life does get in the way. But in order to live a fuller, longer life, we do need to make a commitment to living an active life. Sometimes it just takes a little creativity, and being open to the many exercise opportunities that are hidden, just waiting to be taken advantage of, in our daily lives!