Despite all we know about nutrition and health, humans are more overweight and obese than at any other time in recorded history. According to The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 70% of Americans are either overweight or obese.
One of the best ways to maintain a healthy body weight is through regular exercise and physical activity. Unfortunately, the increasingly busy (but still sedentary) lifestyle many people lead is often lacking in spare time. You may not believe you have the time available for working out and getting in shape.
Begin practicing the following tips and you will always be able to work exercise into even your busiest days.
1 – Plan Ahead
In any area of your life, planning can help you succeed. The human brain prefers knowing what’s going to happen in the next few minutes, the next few hours, tomorrow and all week long. Write down a reasonable physical exercise plan a week in advance and you will find yourself exercising more frequently. Keep in mind that you’re better off scheduling realistic exercise into your day rather than big goals. For example, set aside 10 minutes to exercise rather than an hour if you’re just getting started. As you embrace the exercise habit, you can add more time to your workout routine.
2 – Try Body Weight Training
One of the great things about body weight training (doing resistance exercises using your body weight) is that it can be done just about anywhere. Exercises like sit-ups, push-ups, planks, squats and lunges are super-effective, and they can be done any time you have five or ten minutes to spare. In New The Primal Blueprint, author Mark Sisson talks about how to integrate these fundamental movements into your day and why they’re so important.
3 – Keep a Set of Dumbbells at Work or By the Sofa (or Both!)
For most people, a portion of the day is going to include some sitting. This might be sitting at a desk, or even just sitting at the sofa. You can sneak exercise into your day by keeping a set of dumbbells handy, and doing some upper body exercises while you’re on the phone or watching television.
4 – Walk or Bike Instead of Taking the Car
This one requires finding a bit of extra time in your day, but if you can make it work, it’s a great way to get more exercise. Any time you have a short errand to do, consider doing it on foot or by bicycle rather than driving. It might only take an extra 15 minutes, but it’s a big boost for your daily activity levels. The fresh air and sunshine is good for your stress levels and hormone balance too.
5 – Prioritize Exercise
Perhaps the most effective way to sneak more exercise into your day is to adjust your mindset and expectations as to what exercise means to you. When you think of it as a chore, or something you “have to” do, it’s easier to let other things take priority. But when you find an exercise or physical activity you like to do, it becomes something that you’ll be sure to find a little more time for.
One of my favorite mindsets is that which lets go of perfection and all or nothing thinking. Five minutes of exercise a day is better than none. You don’t have to get out and jog for an hour. Just move your body more often. Make yourself and your health a priority and allow growth in small steps. You’ll gain confidence, energy, and improved health along the way. It all adds up.