Life is busy. You barely have time to pick up your Diet-to-Go meals in between running errands, work and well, just life. If the thought of exercising on top of it all is just too much, don’t fret. There are easy ways to sneak in exercise every day. And the good news is, you don’t have to spend hours at the gym or run 10 miles a day to reap the benefits of exercising. You just need to make it a part of your life. And with a little planning and some creativity, you can sneak in exercise every day.
With all of life’s other demands, exercise often gets shoved down the priority lost. But it shouldn’t be. Exercising is critical: for your health, for your energy level and your sanity. The guidelines about how much exercise you need vary depending on whether you are looking to lose weight or if you just want to maintain a healthy weight. But the general rule of thumb is to strive for at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day.
You don’t have to do it all at once! You can spread your exercise throughout the day. And as long as you're doing the activity at a moderate or vigorous effort for at least 10 minutes at a time, you are still get all the wonderful benefits of regular exercise.
Get up 30 minutes earlier. While you may curse your alarm when it first goes off, it'll be worth it. You’ll have more energy and a better attitude after exercising than if you had slept in. Plus, no matter how stressful or full your day becomes, if you exercise first thing in the morning, you get it over with and it'll be one fewer thing on your to do list. Just be sure to go to bed a little earlier, you don't want to short change your sleep.
Park far away from the door. You’ve probably already heard this suggestion before and just ignored it, because, really what good would a few extra steps do? Not much if you only do it once. But try it for a week, for every place you go; it really does add up. Still not convinced? Get a pedometer and track it, you'll be surprised at how little changes can quickly add up and get you to that ideal of 10,000 steps a day.
Take the stairs whenever you can. Similar to "parking far away," taking the stairs is advice that has been around forever. And for good reason, every little step makes a difference. Start slow, taking the stairs once a day instead of the elevator and before you know it, you may find yourself shunning the elevator altogether.
Don’t be so efficient around the house. Instead of grabbing the laundry, the mail and the groceries all in one trip, take several. Sure it may take a few extra minutes, but every trip up/down the stairs or from one part of the house to another is an opportunity to burn a few extra calories and get your body moving.
Make chores count. Mop the floor, scrub the bathtub or do other housework at a pace fast enough to get your heart pumping. If you need a little extra motivation, blast some fun, fast music, it'll make the work seem less like work. Yard work counts, too. Mowing the lawn with a push mower is a great way to burn calories. Raking strengthens your arms and back, and digging works your arms and legs. Stick your earphones in and lose yourself in the music.
Make it social. By joining a dance club, hiking group, softball team or golf league (whatever interests you) will make exercise seem less like exercise. It will just be a fun activity and the exercise will just be a "sneaky" bonus.
The trick is to be creative. As you go through your day, think of all the subtle ways you can include exercise: get up and deliver a message instead of using email or while watching TV use every commercial as an opportunity to do some abdominal crunches or push ups. True, none of these are huge calorie burners, but they are great ways to sneak in exercise. And remember that over time all that "sneaking" adds up.Author: Sue Ridgeway