Women's Fitness Tips: How to fit exercise into a busy schedule

Womens HealthWe’ve heard it all: Exercise is important! No pain no gain! At least 150 minutes of exercise per week! And don’t forget the strength training, cardio, and there’s yoga! Get a gym membership! Run a marathon! Join a fitness club! Lose weight! And the list goes on. As women, it can be very daunting and discouraging to hear all the different circulating messages around exercise. The truth is, exercise is important, but it does not have to be complicated, expensive, or extremely time consuming. Yet our schedules are so packed in today’s world with kids, jobs, and other responsibilities, it is often hard to find the energy, motivation, and time necessary to get in our much-needed exercise. Here are some tips on how to do so:

  • Involve the kids. If childcare is a big barrier for you, consider all the ways you can exercise with your kids.
    • Playgrounds make great “bootcamp” environments. Watch your kids play while you use the playground for your workout—pull-ups on the monkey bars, tricep dips on the benches, lunges/burpees/squats anywhere, play tag with your child, etc.
    • Bring the kids on your run—there are so many good running strollers out there and if your child is a little older, they can accompany you on a bike.
  • Ask for help
    • Have your spouse, mother, or neighbor watch the kids while you get some much-needed exercise “me" time
    • Join an exercise group with close friends or neighbors. Perhaps one of you could watch the kids, while the rest exercise together. You could rotate who watches.
  • Make good use of the time you have
    • Time spent waiting at the doctor’s office, airport, restaurants, meetings, etc. could all be used as active time. See how long the wait will be and then go for a brisk walk or perform other exercises.
    • Exercise does not have to be all at once. Try taking 3 or more 10-minute exercise breaks. One in the morning, afternoon, and evening, or whenever fits into your schedule. 10 minutes is not as hard as an hour session. You could have some body weight exercises in mind to perform during these breaks, so you don’t need any special equipment.
  • Walk or ride your bike instead of drive whenever you can—to work, daycare, the bank, etc.
  • Combine tasks
    • Invite friends over to go on a walk or to join you in another form of exercise instead of to eat or get ice cream.
    • Do things yourself instead of using energy saving machines. Most of the time, it will not take any longer.
  • Make family time active time. Plan family active adventures on the weekend or whenever it fits into your schedule.
  • Make yourself an exercise appointment at work—you often keep appointments at work better than at home. Plus, once it’s on your schedule, others often see that you are “busy” during that time and won’t book over it.
  • Schedule it in and make it a habit—the bottom line is you just need to make it a priority for it to happen. Schedule it into your day and keep it like you would any other important appointment. You have the right to say “no” to other requests that might come up so that you can take care of yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself, how can you take care of anyone or anything else? And once you’ve made it a habit, it will be easier to keep it up.
On September 29, 2020 /   fitness, physical health, women's health

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