“I don’t have time to exercise. I’m working 60 hours a week trying to run a company.”
“I can’t seem to squeeze it in. Between taxiing the kids all over town and trying to run a household, there isn’t any time left for me.”
“My schedule is crazy. I travel all the time and never seem to have time to get to the gym. Then when I’m home, family demands and projects have me swamped.”
A common misconception with regard to exercise is the idea that you have to carve out 30-60 continuous minutes of fitness a day, or it does you no good. In fact, according to the Surgeon General, exercise is just as beneficial when short bursts of physical activity, 5-10 minutes here and there, are accumulated throughout the day, adding up to about 30 minutes total. The idea here is that you can make time for exercise when you squeeze it in, in small bursts throughout the day, usually when you’re busy doing something else. In every corner of your life, there are hidden exercises waiting to be found. Remember “Where’s Waldo?” Well, think of this as “Where’s Fitness?”
The answer? It’s sometimes right in front of you. Below are exercise opportunities that you’ll discover in everyday life. See how many times during the day you’re able to sneak fitness in:
At the Office
- Keeping it moving.
- Instead of emailing a colleague, deliver your thoughts live – walk to her office or cubicle and have a live chat.
- Instead of taking the elevator to your office, try taking the stairs. What, you say, climb to the 20th floor? Maybe take the elevator halfway then switch to the stairs.
- Instead of a sit-down meeting, have a walking meeting – maybe even outside, if the weather is nice. Then you’ll cash in on the added benefit of the vitamin D boost with the sunshine.
- Desk exercises. Stuck sitting in front of your computer for long periods? “Reboot” your body with a few simple movements:
- Leg kicks/extensions
- Toe points/flexes
- Bend overs and side bends
- Arm circles
- Shoulder shrugs
- Chair squats
Phone It In
- Pace yourself. Instead of sitting while talking on the phone, walk-and-talk.
- Speakerphone/headsets. Get that phone call in while you’re on the treadmill or bike. Or do your crunches, squats and stretches while catching up on the latest gossip.
- Dancing With the Chores. Burn the calories to your favorite tunes as you clean, cook, and launder.
- Laundry Brigade. Turn your laundry basket into a medicine ball, lifting, squatting and swinging it to burn off extra calories. Get your steps in by making extra trips up and down the stairs.
- Bag the Workouts. A plethora of fitness opportunities await you at the grocery store. Park further away if it’s safe. Go up and down all the aisles, even if you don’t have to. Use the weight of “jumbo” sized items to your advantage – cases of water, soda and dog food can be used for squats. When unloading your groceries, make extra trips to get your steps in. Use your grocery bags for arm curls and shoulder raises before you unpack them.
- Cleaning Calisthenics. Cleaning isn’t for wimps. Chores such as mopping, vacuuming, shoveling, mowing, sweeping and scrubbing are all workouts in and of themselves.
On the Road
- If you’re in an airplane or in a car for long periods, take active rest breaks.
- Check out the hotel gym.
- Explore the hotel and the surrounding area on foot.
- Take the stairs whenever possible.
- Walk to dinner and meetings whenever possible.
- Take a swim.
“Waiting” It Down
- Whether waiting for a table or for your dentist, check on your wait time and try to take a quick spin around the block if you’d otherwise just be sitting for 10 minutes.
- While waiting for a delayed flight, do your stretches on the floor. Use the wall for wall-sits and wall-pushups. Explore the terminal on foot.
- Practice meditation and deep breathing if waiting for an appointment.
Family Time – Active Time
- Soccer moms. After dropping the kids off at practice, walk around the field instead of sitting in the car or on the sidelines.
- Child’s choice. Let each family member choose a physical activity for the week that he or she will lead.
- Get outdoors with your family. Do something active instead of watching TV. Play a ballgame, ride bikes or hike together.
- Stroller workout. Turn a walk in the park into a walking workout complete with lunges, squats, and stroller jogging.
So, where’s fitness? It’s anyplace, anytime – and waiting for an excuse to work out with you!
For those of you living in Colorado, be sure to check out the fitness class offerings available through Coach Stacy’s Healthy U on the Class Schedules link above. Classes are entertaining and affordable! Who knew fitness could be so fun?