Staying active when you are short on time requires planning. It’s easy to make excuses for failing to find a way to fit physical activity into your busy schedule, but there is always time to squeeze in a little exercise. The key to achieving success is by recognizing the importance of daily physical activity for your health, and remembering that little bursts of movement throughout the day can be just as effective as longer workouts.
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A Little Activity Goes a Long Way
In a recent interview in Prevention magazine, Exercise Physiologist Dr. Glen Gaesser revealed the results of a University of Virginia study in which participants were asked, “to complete 15 10-minute exercise routines a week. After just 21 days, the volunteers’ aerobic fitness, strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility were equal to those of people up to 20 years their junior. Gaesser stated, “It would be useful for people to get out of the all-or-nothing mind-set that unless they exercise for 30 minutes, they’re wasting their time.”
With the kinds of results seen in the study we can no longer let ourselves believe that a little exercise throughout the day won’t lead to results. So, how do you find clever ways to tone-up and slim-down in an already busy day?
Squeeze, Walk, and Tighten
Walking is a great way to exercise. You can take the stairs instead of the elevator, or take a long walk during lunch. You can invite others to walk with you. Getting coworkers involved is great motivator. If you are able to run in place a bit near your desk for a few moments, do it. You can squeeze your abs while you type or even take the longer walking route to any destination in your office.
Walking is also helpful in regulating your mood. It is an effective way to take some time to yourself and organize your thoughts. Get to work 15 minutes early and walk around the building a couple of times before starting your workday. Parents should take advantage of this opportunity to get a little “me” time if at all possible. You will be a better parent and employee because of it.
For those hard at work during the week, the weekends may feel like time to run errands and play catch-up. It is possible to do this and find time for a physical activity. Parents need to reach out to friends and family, and find activities that get everyone involved. When we make this part of our relationships, we are more likely to keep it up. You can also ask family to babysit for an hour so you can go for a quiet run. Weekends can include one good workout without losing too much quality time.
Too often we see dedicated employees and parents forget the vital importance of their health for their personal success. Combining small bursts of physical activity with a solid plan for nutrition can keep the body and mind healthy and productive. Every moment we spend believing we don’t have time to exercise is a wasted opportunity to incorporate some extra movement into our day.
Byline: Cynthia Carlisle is a health junkie and a huge proponent of using magnesium supplements.