Keeping Active in Your Busy Life (Part 2)
Raya Beerbower, MRH Dietetic Intern
You might think you have to spend an hour or more at a gym or in a fitness class six times a week to get a good workout, but that is definitely not the case! However, it is important to make an effort to include muscle-strengthening activities (as listed in part one of this blog) at least twice a week as well. Even so, the majority of your physical activity could be as simple as going on a walk, doing jumping jacks and push-ups, or cleaning your house. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
Here are some exercise ideas for those who struggle to find the time to fit in physical activity (remember, some is better than none!):
If you have a desk job, get up every 30 minutes and walk around. Even if you can only walk around the office, do a few laps and stretch before sitting back down.
Also, see if you can get a standing desk so that you’re forced to use your leg muscles while doing your work.
If you plan meetings at your job, plan them outside or somewhere to walk and talk at the same time.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator (you’ve probably heard this a lot, but it can seriously make a difference!).
Join a gym that is on the way to and from work, bring a change of clothes, and plan on doing at least 30 minutes of activity while there before or after your scheduled work shift. If you aren’t sure how to use gym equipment or what exercises to do, most gyms have fitness classes that you can join. Find a gym that has a class you’d be able to attend outside of your scheduled work shift—don’t be afraid to try new things! You may be surprised at the classes you end up really enjoying.
Sit on an exercise ball at work instead of a regular chair to help build core strength.
Do calf raises and/or squats in the morning while brushing your teeth or combing your hair before work.
Keep free weights at your job and do bicep/tricep exercises while on the phone or during any free time.
If you have a longer lunch break, take a short walk.
Some jobs have gyms or provide exercise equipment at their facilities. If your job has this, take advantage because it’s likely low-cost or free for you!
Buying a pedometer (like a Fitbit) is a fantastic way to make sure you are getting in more exercise (yes, simply walking counts as exercise!). It will track your steps, encouraging you to aim for a higher step goal every day. Some pedometers will let you set a goal or set one for you and remind you how many more steps you need for that day to ensure you are reaching your goal!
Check out this resource for more recommendations and tips on exercise: