How To Fit Exercise Into Your Busy Day

Living in such a fast-paced world it often feels like time is never on our side.  Dividing our time between work, school, and family can leave little time to do much else.  In fact, a busy schedule can leave us stretched pretty thin.  It’s easy for us to place our health on the back burner while we try to fit everything else in.  However, neglecting our health can lead to mental and physical problems.  I don’t want that for you, and you don’t want that for yourself.  Whether you’re stuck at the office, a busy mom with little-to-no down time, or a student with a hectic schedule, here are several ways for you to fit physical fitness into your regimen.

Body Weight Exercises

You don’t need much to get a good pump away from the gym.  Consider body weight exercises when you’re at work, home, or school.  Exercises like squats, pushups, planks, and calf raises are all possible without the assistance of weights.  If you’re limited on time, don’t worry about sets.  Simply bust out as many of your chosen exercise as you can in your allotted time.

There is an alternative to the traditional pushup.  Stand approximately half an arms length from a sturdy wall, with your leg’s hip width apart.  Lean forward and place your palms on the wall in the standard pushup position.  You should find your body at a slant with your torso closer to the wall.  Activating your chest, triceps, and shoulders, push away from the wall and then guide your chest back towards the wall. 

For those with knee, or back pain there is an alternative to the squat exercise.  Move your desk chair away from your desk, allowing yourself room to move.  Sit upright, brace your core, then stand up while pushing through your legs.  Then gently come back to a seated position.

Step by Powerful Step

If cardio is more your thing, there are ways to squeeze in exercise to get your heart rate up.  Consider parking farther from then entrance than necessary. Park further when you’re at work, school, the grocery store, or wherever.  It may seem like more of a pain in the neck than a good way to get your steps in, but those extra feet can really add up.  If your school or workplace has a staircase, use it.  Although, elevators and escalators are very useful they can be a cop out for those of us wanting to make the most of our day and stay fit.  Don’t forget to walk after your lunch break.  Movement can aid in digestion and help to eliminate that sluggish feeling midday.  According to a Time online article by Sheri Colberg-Ochs, a diabetes and exercise researcher at Old Dominion University;

“Exercise stimulates peristalsis, which is the process of moving digested food through the GI tract,”.

Sheri Colberg-Ochs excerpt from Time magazine article

Mind Over Matter

An easily overlooked part of caring for our bodies, is how we treat our bodies when we aren’t intentionally putting them under stress, like when we’re working out.  In this age of technology, it is more and more common to have shoulder, neck, and back pain due to being hunched over a desk looking at a computer, tablet, or phone.  If you have a desk that allows you to either sit or stand then that is awesome.  If not, there are simple exercises you can do to help your body.  Remind yourself to stand up every 30 minutes or so.  Gently stretch your hip flexors, upper lats, and neck muscles.  While you’re seated remember to flex your abs and glutes periodically.  Also, when seated exaggerate your posture in an upright position in intervals.

One key thing to do is to never underestimate the power of YOU.  Staying physically healthy should be a priority in your life, no matter how hectic your schedule may be.  Squeeze in workouts and healthy habits into your day as much as you can.

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