Fitting in a solid exercise routine is not easy. For the greater majority of us the thought of waking up and going to the gym or class or going for a run seem less and less appealing as the week goes on. Believe it or not there’s a reason for that too. Most people start their week off physically and mentally strong but as the weight of the world, lack of sleep, and busy daily schedules add up day after day after day you soon see exercise is not the problem but everything else is!
American Heart Association, lists a minimum requirement for daily exercise as 150 minutes a week or roughly 30 minutes a day 5 days a week. Other recommendations will tell you to aim for about 10,000 steps daily or just under 5 miles.
How much of that requirement do you meet on a daily basis? No matter if you’ve got the insane drive it takes to stay on your daily program rain or shine or if you happen to fall off the weekly wagon, shit happens sometimes. Simply put, that darn thing called life gets in the way leading to even the best intentions falling to the wayside. We’ve all been there and may currently be there while reading this post thinking, “shit I knew I should have set my alarm earlier this morning.” Which is why we have to account for that and we have to get creative in the way we approach being active so make the most of our time.
Here are 3 ways you can reap the benefits of the exercise when the practicality of a busy life takes over:
1. Do your chores: Have laundry to do? How about vacuuming or sweeping the floor? If you’ve let those chores slip what a great easy way to knock two birds off with one stone! Gardening is another one of those tedious but necessary things to maintain. Weed away to torch calories and work on your arm muscles! Through doing these easy weekly tasks you are exercising your body which counts. (Extra Tip: Feeling extra ambitious? Wash the floors that will get you feeling refreshed (or sweaty) and your house looking in tip-top shape.)
2. Go shopping: Holiday shopping can never start too soon. Go to your local mall and walk, even if it is just to browse. Bonus points if its nice out and the mall is outdoors! All those window shopping steps add up.
3. Park and walk: this one applies no matter where you are. If you are capable of walking make it a point wherever you go during the day to not park right up front. Park down the block or at the end of the parking lot and walk. Even better if its close enough ditch the car altogether! Less wasted gas + less pollution + health benefits from exercise = 1 pretty sweet deal. (That means cabs and public transit too… get out a block earlier or if feasible a stop early)
Hopefully these ideas will help you see there are lots of things you can do that can fall under the “exercise umbrella”. Just keep in mind that a true exercise schedule is still king. A solid exercise routine can be difficult with the amount of dedication, focus and determination that it requires to keep on a schedule no matter rain or shine. These ideas will help you patch the rough spots/days of the week where you just can’t get the motivation, energy or time to stick to your routine.
Ultimately, exercising makes you feel better. It lifts your spirits, is great for your health and makes you say, “damn this shirt looks good on me.” So do yourself a favor and carve away some time even if it’s through the three ways mentioned above.
How do you incorporate exercise when a busy life gets in the way? Share your method with us so we can all learn and walk away with a pointer or two!
Written by Kimberly Hale