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Wednesday, August 29, 2018
Incorporating Exercise into a Busy Lifestyle
 
by Jackie Edwards 


The average American spends between 2 and 4 hours a day on social media, according to a study conducted by Common Sense Media.  That is up to 240 minutes a day that could have been utilized for work, family time or exercise. Despite it being common knowledge that regular exercise is of paramount importance, more than 80% of adults in the USA do not get enough exercise according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with the most common excuse for not exercising is that there is not enough time for it. While it is undeniably true that the average lifestyle in the USA has become increasingly demanding over recent years, one has to take into consideration the amount of time wasted on futile activities, such as social media and general procrastination. Regardless of how seemingly busy your life may be, there are indisputably ways, such as the following, to incorporate exercise into your daily life.

Start Small

It is important to change your mindset away from the belief that you need an hour or more to complete an effectual workout.  Any exercise is better than no exercise with even 10 minutes a day making a difference to your overall well-being. When you start incorporating exercise into your busy life it is important to set realistic goals for yourself.  At first, set goals for a 2-week period, re-evaluating them after them afterward. Squeeze in exercise wherever you can during the day, making use of schedules and fitness apps where you can to improve your efforts.

Make the Most of Your TV Time

According to a Nielsen report, the average American watches approximately 4 hours of TV a day.  Luckily the time you spend catching up on your favorite Netflix series does not have to be a completely-sedentary activity as there are countless exercises you can do right in the comfort of your own living room.  If you have an elliptical trainer or exercise bike you can break a sweat without missing out on any screen time.

Alternatively, you can engage in a range of exercises such as lunges, squats, push-ups, Russian twists and mountain climbers during each commercial break which will provide you with a decent full-body workout within a single evening.  Don’t neglect to warm-up prior to your TV workout as you don’t want to strain a muscle during your routine. Climbing some stairs or walking briskly up and down your driveway a few times, coupled with some stretching, will warm up your muscles sufficiently to conduct your routine without risking injury.

Exercise During Your Lunch Break

Your lunch break provides you with an ideal opportunity to work out, especially if your office is situated near a gym or pool.  Instead of staying at your desk or joining your colleagues in the canteen, head on over to the gym for a quick circuit workout or, alternatively, swim a few laps in the pool. If you aren’t close enough to such facilities, simply carry a pair of running shoes to work and pop them on before a brisk walk around the block. Even inclement weather should not deter you from exercising at work as you can quite easily climb some stairs or do a few sets of lunges and squats in your office or restroom.  Exercise is always more enjoyable when you have someone to do it with so make it your mission to encourage a colleague to join you in your efforts to becoming fitter, stronger and overall healthier.

Find a Fun Exercise Activity

When we perceive something as fun, we are more likely to make the effort to set aside time for it.  If your workouts feel like a chore, chances are you will constantly find excuses why you cannot do them.  Find something you enjoy such as water aerobics, dancing or marital arts,  and sign up for a class. Not only will you now have a designated time frame set aside for your exercise, but you will also reap the benefits of engaging in enjoyable exercise.  You can even consider signing up the entire family for a class as it will make your own fitness efforts significantly easier if the entire family is leading a healthy, active lifestyle.

 

Regular exercise is as important to our well-being as healthy nutrition is and it is paramount that we make the effort to get active as often as possible. While it might seem harrowing to make drastic lifestyle changes, it is nice to know that even the smallest of changes can have a huge impact on our lives in the long-run. Make your own health a priority, invest in your personal well-being and enjoy the gains of a more wholesome, active life.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jackie Edwards.  After taking a career sabbatical to become a mother, Jackie now researches and writes for a living. She's a former health coach and fitness instructor. She has, in the past battled problems with anxiety and panic, and in her spare time she volunteers for a number of local charities that support people with mental health issues.

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