We always hear about how Suzie Sunshine found an extra 1000 hours in her day to run 50 miles a week and has it all tracked in her app – but what about the rest of us? How exactly are we supposed to find time to fit in a productive workout in our already busy lives? Yes, it is possible to wake up early and hit the gym or morning run before work, but most of us want that hour of sleep or we are using that hour to get our family ready for their day. What are some realistic ways to fit in proper fitness through our days?
- Walking: If you aren’t able to walk around the office anymore (most places make you schedule your breaks now and discourage you taking bathroom breaks) then utilize the time they let you outside for lunch. Most people are able to nibble on something through the day, so try to eat part of your lunch through the day – saving a protein rich snack for the afternoon (it’s a lot better than coffee). If you are lucky enough to get a full hour for lunch, use 35 minutes of that hour to walk outside in the parking lot. Your body will thank you. The fresh air and stretching your legs will do wonders not only for your waistline but also your mental clarity. If you are only allowed 30 minutes for lunch, even a 15 minute power walk is better than nothing. I always advise if you do drive to park further away from the entrance of the store, but not too far you put yourself in danger. Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator, and after dinner go for a 20 minute to 60 minute walk. This is great especially if you have kids. They will appreciate the family bonding time and it will help them learn from a young age the importance of staying physically active.
- Eating a healthy diet: This does not mean starve yourself. In fact starving yourself will cause you to gain weight. The best bet is to eat a lot of healthy vegetables, proper protein, healthy carbs, and some fruit. The right balance will shed unwanted weight and help maintain your waistline. I know some say they tend to lose weight just by eating well, but realistically, you need to keep up with both – the eating and the working out to stay healthy.
- Swimming: I love to swim. I absolutely love it. I actually enjoy water aerobics almost as much as I love a good dance class. In the water you can move with ease, and who else has fantasies of being a mermaid? I’ve always heard how swimming is one of the best exercises you can do for your body and that it’s great for any skill level or starting point. If you have access to a pool, sign up for a class, learn to swim, or just get in and do a few laps until you are strong enough to do more. The only downside is public pools or gyms with a pool tend to get crowded easily if you are going to free swim or maybe you aren’t able to get in the water due to cost. Some gyms do work with you as far as payment goes, and I do believe some insurance carriers now offer discounts to gym facilities with pools. It is definitely worth looking into!
- Running and other various exercises that seem a bit intense: I’m not a runner. I never have been, and frankly never want to be. My boobs are too big, it’s uncomfortable, and when I had to in the past I don’t think I did it well. There really is a trick to being a good runner that some have figured out. You can’t just wake up one day and start running because you may end up injuring your knee(s), ankle(s), or hip. Really. Running in a poor stance can injure your body. I’m also not attracted to Cross Fit or any variation where I have to flip a tire or hit it with a hammer. I think lifting weights is essential to muscle health and maintenance, I would rather do it the old fashioned way – with real weights.
- Find something you enjoy: The real trick to finding extra time for a workout is doing something you enjoy. If you enjoy dance class, you will make it a priority to go once or twice a week. Going every week will encourage you to bring a friend as well. Doing things together tends to make each other accountable too. It helps us stay on target with not only dieting but also doing things to get that extra 30 minutes in your day.
Even if you commit to using each commercial break to one activity, that will help keep you in motion. If you are a Netflix freak (guilty) between shows or movies spend 10 minutes moving around or doing an activity. Those minutes will add up quick too. Just be realistic about where you are in your fitness journey and realistic about your range of motion. I don’t want anyone hurting themselves or falling over the coffee table.
Lastly, remember to drink water!
I do my best to drink enough water and you should too. Too many of us are swallowing more unhealthy liquids than water. Juice is not a substitute. If you hate the taste of water, flavor it with cucumber slices or mint leaves. Try to avoid those flavor packets to your water. It’s unnecessary and some use fake sugar to give it a more “sweet” taste without adding calories. Starting small and managing small goals is the best way to get started.