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Home > LifeStyle > Fitting Fitness In

Fitting Fitness In

You know how important exercise is and you really do want to get fit, but your schedule is already bursting at the seams, and you don’t think you could fit even one more activity.

As a busy mother of three young sons, I know how difficult it can be to fit a regular exercise routine into a full schedule. Yet, without a consistent exercise regimen, you may not have the energy to keep up with your responsibilities.

Having a consistent time for physical fitness makes it more likely that you will continue with a routine. I like to get up early before my family awakens. If I don’t exercise early, I find it very difficult to fit it in during the rest of the day. Early morning does not work for everyone, but having a regular time set aside for fitness makes it much more likely that you’ll stay with the routine. You may choose to use a lunch break to do a short workout or some stretching routines to help relieve the stress and anxiety of work. Or you may find you prefer exercising at the end of the day. Despite good intentions, however, you may find some days you don’t have the time or desire to do a full routine exercise. Does that mean that if you don’t have the time for a full routine, you don’t exercise? While nothing takes the place of a regular exercise routine, here are some tips for fitting fitness in even when you are short on time.

  • Instead of spending your time searching for the closest parking space, park your car further away. Not only do you save time (and maybe gas) in finding a parking spot, but you also will use more energy walking.
  • Whenever possible, carry your groceries to the car and load them yourself. You burn calories walking, and you use muscles lifting your groceries.
  • Use stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
  • Climb your stairs at home.
  • Walk or ride a bicycle instead of driving. (You’ll save gas and burn more calories.)
  • If you use the bus as transportation, get off a stop earlier.
  • At work, take the long route to the water fountain, restrooms, copy machine, and cafeteria. Walk briskly.
  • Stretch while standing in line.
  • Use a speaker phone or cordless phone and walk or stand while talking. You burn more calories standing than sitting.
  • Don’t use the remote control. Get up and change channels. Better yet, exercise while watching television. Try riding a stationary bike or using a treadmill or elliptical trainer.
  • If safe, walk within your apartment building or the mall.
  • When picking up toys your children or grandchildren left out, practice flexibility exercises.
  • Walk your pets (or your neighbor’s pets).
  • Put more effort into household chores. You cannot escape household work (unless you hire a maid), so why not put a little extra effort into it, and burn some extra calories in the process.
  • Try doing something together as a family. Walk with your spouse. Ride bikes together. If you have children or grandchildren who are learning to ride a bicycle, jog alongside while they ride.
  • Play ball, catch, frisbee, or any active game with your children or grandchildren.
  • Spend time with a friend and walk around the block a couple times while getting caught up on the news.
  • You can exercise even at the office while you’re sitting. Try the following: Kegal exercises, tightening your buttocks, flexing your feet and ankles (tracing the alphabet with your feet), slowly rolling your neck, shrugging your shoulders, stretching as high as you can.

The hardest part is getting started. And usually, the first few weeks are the most difficult. You’re not in shape, and you’re trying to adjust to a new routine. Unless you absolutely hate your program, stay with it. (If you hate it, try something different since it is easier to continue in something you enjoy. Some days you do not feel like doing even that which you enjoy.)

Most people who start an exercise routine quit within a few weeks. But if you make it past those first few months, you will probably stay with your routine, and you may even discover that you love it and can’t do without it.
I have!

My bio:
Rachel Keller is an active home schooling mother of three young sons who enjoys various aerobic routines, strength training, and flexibility exercises. She has participated in various sports, rope jumping, and skating. She also belongs to her local running group and has competed in many races, placing in the top three for her age category in over half the races. A freelance author, Rachel has published over 200 articles on her web site and has had many articles featured on various other web sites and ezines. She has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in special education. Visit Time for Fitness http://www.timeforfitness.com to read more by Rachel Keller.

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