The Mutitasker’s Guide to Exercise

By Abigail Campbell

Finding time and energy to exercise can be a challenge when you are faced with long workdays, taking classes, and maintaining a social life. Can the classic “I just don’t have time” be an excuse? The truth is that it’s not. A balanced and healthy life among the chaos of a busy lifestyle is an absolute possibility.

Natalie Shneck, a certified personal trainer, said scheduling time to exercise throughout the week is just as important as scheduling any other appointment.

“You have 168 hours in a week and you can find 5 to 7 hours to spare for exercise,” says Shneck. “If it is a non-negotiable scheduled appointment, you’ll get the workout in and be better equipped to meet all of your other obligations.”

It’s also possible to use your time creatively when fitting in workouts. Why take time to go to the gym when you can stay active at the office? Shneck suggests taking three 10 minute breaks from work for brisk walks around the block or office to fulfill your daily 30 minutes of cardio. Another useful lifestyle tool is to live by the “20 minute rule” and do something active (walk around or stretch) every 20 minutes. If you can’t leave the desk, then bring an exercise ball to sit on instead of your chair. “Sitting on an exercise ball engages stabilizer muscles in your core and supports good posture,” said Shneck.

Shneck also urges busy people to cut down on TV time and to take advantage of multitasking on a treadmill. As for quick and efficient exercises that can be done at home, she recommends basic pull-ups, push-ups, squats, lunges, and planks.

“These can all be done at home for 15-minute stretches of time and are super efficient as far as the amount of muscle groups engaged,” said Shneck.

Scheduling time for exercise and adapting to an active lifestyle, even in the office, can result in more energy and a happier, healthier you. The benefit of spreading out exercise over the course your the day is that you barely notice all of the physical work you have accomplished. In fact, there are multiple other ways to live actively without interrupting your regular schedule.

  • Take the stairs – By taking the elevator, you’re missing out on a great workout for your leg and glute muscles, not to mention cardio.
  • Park far away – Is it really necessary to get the closest parking spot? Get out and walk!
  • Walk or bike to work – It’s a great workout and environmentally friendly.
  • Hit the gym during your lunch break – Pack your lunch, eat while you work, and then hit the gym for an hour!
  • Wear ankle weights – It’s an easy way to add some resistance training to your regular activities.
  • Wake up early – Get your exercise out of the way first thing in the morning and have energy all day long!
  • Work out with a friend – It’s much easier to flake out on your gym session when you only have yourself to let down. Scheduling workouts with a friend can add the motivation you need to get moving.

Regardless of the obstacles you face in your daily life, there are no excuses for skipping out on exercise. You owe yourself three things; sleep, a healthy diet, and daily physical activity. Even after a long day at the office, you’ll never regret a great workout.

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Categories: Your Fitness, Your Lifestyle

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