June 30, 2021
Have you ever had that moment where you say “It’s been a crazy week so I’ll just work out next week?” Then next week comes around and you find another reason not to work out? We’ve all been there and made up every excuse in the book. Working out doesn’t have to take up an excessive of your day. There are small ways that you can incorporate some activities to help you get moving, while fitting them into your busy schedule.
Get out and walk.
Take a short walk or find a few extra minutes to take a longer walk. Either way, getting up and going for a walk is a positive, easy way to get moving. While taking a walk might not seem like it has a lot of benefits, it actually does! Walking daily can help you shed pounds, enhance your sleep, and help improve your circulation. Walking also supports your joints and helps build muscles, specifically your leg and abdominal muscles.
Not only is walking great for your physical health, it’s also valuable for your mental health too. Taking a walk gives you a change of scenery and can leave you feeling refreshed. For those who work on a computer screen most of the day, this is a worthy break for your brain so that you can come back revived and ready to work. Additionally, walking daily has a long term added benefit too of reducing the risk of dementia. To learn more, visit the Alzheimer’s Society.
How can you fit walking into a busy schedule? Take a walk during your lunch break at work. Walk up the road or around the parking lot! If you’re finding it hard to walk during work, find 10-15 minutes before or after work where you can take a quick stroll and reset. If you work in a building where there are stairs, taking the stairs instead of the elevator are a good way to start slowly into adding more activity into your daily routine.
Find a way to exercise at home that doesn’t require exercise equipment.
Outfitting your home with a gym can be costly and space consuming, but there are ways to work out without all of the fancy gym equipment. Did you know that you can work out simply using your own body weight? Bodyweight training uses your body weight against gravity to allow resistance training for your muscles. These types of exercises allow you to build your muscle, improve flexibility and help you learn balance and stability.
So how exactly does it work? Start by warming up for 5 to 10 minutes by stretching and walking. Once you’ve gotten moving a little bit, you can dive into the exercises. There are all kinds of exercises that you can do depending on what part of your body you are looking to work out; upper body, lower body, abdomen. etc. The best part is that you can do all of this from your living room while you catch up on your favorite shows! To learn more about Bodyweight and some exercises to start with, click here.
Find a way to be active while being productive.
Many of us work in offices or jobs where we don’t have the ability to move around a lot. If you are on frequent conference calls, try getting a headset for your phone so that you can move around during your meeting and stretch those legs. This idea can also be applied at home. Do you want to catch up with friends or family while talking on the phone? Instead of sitting on the couch, plug in those earbuds and chat while you clean up the kitchen, put away the kids toys, walk the dog, or get some yard work done.
You can also try keeping a few small weights under your desk or in your home. When you have a moment, do a few quick reps. Whether you are working in the office or working from home, make a point to get up and walk around or stretch once per hour. This will help get your blood flowing and refresh your mind a little bit. If you have a smart watch or Fitbit, listen to those reminders to get moving!
Working out with young kids and get the family involved.
It’s no secret that parents with young kids have a harder time getting a workout in, but it’s easier than you think. Next time you go to the grocery store, park farther away and get a few extra steps in. Another great way is to add in certain movements when you would ordinarily stand in place. Instead of standing while brushing your teeth, do squats or lunges.
Getting the whole family involved is also a great way to get in exercise and family bonding at the same time. Hold a living room dance party or play a game of freeze tag in your yard or the local park. Find time in the day to take a family walk, even if it’s just a quick 10 minute walk.
One of the advantages to the pandemic, is the availability of exercise videos on the Internet. Find a short workout video that you can do while the kids nap or play nearby. You can find everything from beginner workouts to high-intensity workouts and some that even involve the kiddos to get them moving too!
Drink water and eat right.
This is simple. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated, and drinking water before you eat will help you feel full. Many times when our stomach tells us that it’s hungry, it’s actually thirsty and drinking water can help curb your appetite. If you’re still feeling hungry after drinking water, then chances are you are actually hungry!
Eating right is another key to feeling healthier. Skip the fast food line and go for a salad or other healthy alternatives. When you eat healthier, you’ll find that you have more energy and throwing a quick workout into your daily mix won’t seem quite as daunting.
Stress can often make us feel tired and like we would rather be doing anything other than working out. Working out has actually been proven to lower stress levels while getting in physical exercise. Start easy by doing something that you enjoy like walking, jogging, swimming, or taking a bike ride. These activities are a great way to push aside your daily stresses and just be in the moment while getting exercise. Stretching and yoga are also good ways to reduce stress while helping your body be more active. Besides the positive physical effects these activities have, they also have the added benefit of reducing stress and improving your mental health.
The StayWell Health Center Team