In case you missed it, you can read this post to see what this series is all about.
Time is limited. Each day does only have 24 hours in it and once you take away that “recommended” 8 hours of sleep we are down to just 16 hours. Just 16 hours to fulfill everything we want to do for our family, friends, community and ourselves. And by the time we take out a few hours for meals…well you can see how it can appear that our day is dwindling down to no time at all. And with such limited time, it can be easy to say that we don’t have any spare minutes to exercise.
And what’s one of the first things they suggest when it comes to cutting back on your budget—the gym, of course! But you know, I’ve had some friends that have found ways to scrape up that money each month for this reason: their health! And they have expressed to me that if left to their own, they won’t find time to exercise. They need that incentive of spending the money each month so they can tell themselves to make the time to make it a worthy expense.
Here’s the one thing that I’ve discovered over the years: different things motivate different people. You just need to figure out what it is that motivates you to do those things that maybe (even just at first) that you find to be not-so-fun.
What motivates me to want to exercise? Two things: my health and my kids. I want to live a very long and healthy life so that I can enjoy every extra minute with my kids that I can. While there are no guarantees in life on just how long we’ll get to thrive, we do need to do our part to make sure and stretch that time as much as we can. And here’s the thing I constantly remind myself: exercising can trigger extra energy. It’s true! Now when you are first getting into the routine you may call me a liar on that because you may be exhausted and want to just crash BUT when your body gets used to it, the energy will follow!
So this is how I look at it: Spend the 20-30 minutes exercising a few times a week and maybe that exercise will give me that extra energy I need to not be dragging at the end of the day so I can finish up all those loose ends that stress me out. Some of those stressers that I’ve been sharing in this series!
So let’s move on to some of my brainstormed ideas on how I can get this plan rolling into motion for me (and for you, too!):
1) Baby steps. As with everything in life, start off small. Even just make a goal of 10 minutes a day a few times a week and work my way up to 30 minutes.
2) Skip one TV show a week to give me the extra 30 minutes I need. Though, honestly, overall I don’t watch too much TV but I’m sure there’s another show I can cut!
3) Set up “power cleaning sessions” so I can burn off some calories while getting my house shiny clean!
4) Set-up exercise challenges to motivate me to reach those goals. I’ve already ran a 5K so maybe I could do another one and beat my time or perhaps even try an 8K! Last year, I climbed the Sears (Willis) Tower. Now THAT was a challenge!! One I did finish but one you definitely won’t get me to do again! lol.
5) Lift small hand weights in some down-times; during things like commercials or while I’m waiting for my computer to boot up in the morning. Even just a few minutes can add up over time! You can also utilize this time to use Hand Therapy Exercise Balls to possibly help strengthen your hands.
6) Take the kids to the park and actually keep up with them. (Only who’s going to help drive/walk me home afterwards–Just kidding!)
7) Designate a little circuit to complete on random nights. Something like pushups, situps, leg lifts and squats. Start small and add a few extra reps each week. (Going back to that baby steps thing!)
8) Take “photo walks” on the glorious weather days. Or even on those days when the snow has fallen and the air isn’t freezing cold! It won’t feel like work when you get some great photos to share later!
9) Try an exercise agenda to get in 3 days a week:
a) One day for walking. During cold weather, try a Walking DVD or even mall walking and looking for holiday gifts!
b) One day working out with the kids. They have so many kids’ exercise games for the Wii, Xbox, etc. Have some outdoor fun when it’s nice and get in a game of tag, jump rope, shooting some basketball hoops, kickball, riding bikes, hiking, etc.
c) One day for exercise of choice. Which ones are my faves? Yoga, hiking, running (OK more like jogging), kickboxing, Zumba and randomly even stair stepping.
10) Take time out to DANCE! Turn on the iPod or record player and get the kids to join in. I assure you giggles usually follow when dancing begins. (Sometimes it’s out of fun…sometimes they are just laughing at my dance moves!)
I think overall the most important thing when it comes to exercise is to just get in what you can and try to have fun. If one week you only get in a couple days of 10 minutes, don’t quit. Maybe the next week you’ll get in 3 days of 30 minutes. Talk to your Dr. about recommending some good exercises for you before you start. They might also be able to offer you some health tips, too!
I’m hoping these ideas might help you get started on baby-stepping your way into exercise. In what ways do you find to squeeze exercise into your daily life?
Stay tuned for the another day of brainstorming on another stresser on Monday. Yup, that’s right…I take the weekends off!
Note: Photo Credit