How can I find time to be physically active?

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Being more physically active can happen without having to block out large chunks of time. Increasing activity can be as simple as small things as parking further away from work, walking to lunch, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to talk to co workers instead of calling or sending emails, parking as far away as you can when you go to the mall or shopping, or the movies. Doing chores around the house, gardening, mowing the lawn all count as physical activity. The key is to fit in activity throughout the day, instead of trying to block out large chunks of time. By adding small bouts of activity throughout the day you’ll improve your fitness, and it will be more manageable than trying to block out large chunks of time during the day. 

I want you try something. I want you to get a daily planner and write down everything you do for seven days. I mean EVERYTHING! No matter how silly you think it is write down everything you do for seven whole days from when you wake up in the morning till you go to bed at night. I want you to notate when you have a coffee break, when you stop to talk on the phone, watch tv, take your kids to sports practice, cook dinner, what hours you work, commuting, all of it. I want you to write it all down in the planner at what time everything happens and for how long it happened for seven days.

Now be honest, do you really not have 30 minutes a day a few times a week for some exercise? I assure you I am not being sarcastic but supportive and understanding of how easy it is to get caught up in our daily routines.  Time is one of the biggest excuses people use to not exercise. Usually, it is a lack of control in their daily routine that prevents them from being more physically fit and finding time to exercise.  I understand we all have families, friends, careers, and a plethora of other things that take our attention away from health and fitness.  However, you must accept that in order to be good for all the other aspects of your life, you need to be good for yourself first. 

One of the best tools I use with clients to improve their levels of fitness is not a treadmill, not a dumbbell, not even an overpriced pair of new sneakers. The best tool for many of my clients winds up being a daily planner. For about $10 or $15 you can get more control over your daily routine and find the time (30 minutes for general health) to invest into yourself for exercise.  Remember time is our most precious commodity, spend it wisely, because once it is gone you cannot get it back. Good Luck!

 

 

Emilia Klapp
Nutrition & Dietetics

It’s a matter of becoming aware of the opportunities in your day. In Mediterranean countries, for instance, people walk to the store, the bank, the subway, the bus stop, the movies, and restaurants. By comparison, the North Central Texas Council of Governments found that 75% of the car trips taken in the U.S. are less than one mile. Granted, you may not live within a mile of everywhere you need to go, but you can get yourself moving with these tips:

  • Park as far as you can from the entrance to your office, the movies, the mall or the grocery store. You’ll add minutes of walking without hurting your schedule.
  • Pace back and forth in your living room during commercials while watching TV, or do jumping jacks during commercial breaks. A two-hour movie has roughly 30 to 40 minutes of commercials, plenty of time to walk.
  • If you have a dog, you’ve got a great walking partner. Aim to walk 15 or 20 minutes daily together.
  • Take the stairs whenever possible.
  • Invite your spouse to a dance class, or the whole family to an outing in a park.
  • Try using a pedometer, which will track your steps every time you walk, use the stairs, vacuum the carpet, shop for groceries, or wash the car. You might be surprised by how much you move in one day. Aim for 5,000 to 10,000 steps daily.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.