Exercise must be a priority. But how do you fit working out into your already
jammed schedule? With some careful planning, almost everyone has time to fit
in some amount of exercise as part of your regular routine.
Keep track of how you spend your time on several typical days -- during the
week and on the weekend. Then, think carefully about what you currently do
with your time, and how you might fit in exercise. Try getting up earlier,
going out after work, skipping television, or exercising during the day in
ten-minute chunks. Think it's too boring? Invite a friend to go with you or
watch a movie while you use the treadmill.
Here are some of the most common reasons for not exercising and alternative
ways to think about them:
|"I don't have time."
||Almost everyone has some time they can devote to
exercise, even in the busiest of schedules. Get creative and find ways
to be more active throughout the day.
|"I'm too tired."
||Exercise will give you more energy, not less. You
may be surprised at how much more energy you have when you exercise.
||There are lots of ways to make exercise more fun.
For tips, click here.
|"I'm not good at sports."
||You can do lots of activities without competing against
others. Try walking with a friend, shopping, or ice-skating. Just go out
there and have fun!
|"It's too hot or cold outside."
||If you dress appropriately, the weather should not
affect your ability to exercise. For more on how to dress, click
|"It's too hard."
||Everyone has different abilities when it comes to
physical activity. Do what feels right to you, and slow down if it feels
|"I'm not fat."
||The benefits of exercise go way beyond weight control
-- EVERYONE needs exercise to be healthy.
Deciding to exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself. But
deciding must lead to doing, and this is where many people stumble. Fortunately,
you can easily integrate exercise into your life if you are a little creative:
- Break it up -- You get the most benefit from exercise if you do
it for at least 60 minutes a day for 5 - 6 days a week. But you do not have
to do 60 minutes in a row. Studies suggest that you get the same benefits
if you work out for 20 minutes 3 times a day as you do during a longer session.
- Do what you like -- Any activity that raises your heart rate counts
as exercise. If you don't enjoy traditional sports, then wash your car, go
dancing, mow the lawn, or any of hundreds of other things.
- Some exercise is better than none -- True, everyone should work
out at least three times a week, but you will still benefit from less frequent
or less intense exercise.
- Mix it up -- You do not have to do the same exercises day after
day. In fact, most fitness professionals recommend varying your activities
so you can work different parts of your body. This can help you avoid injury
and keeps your exercise program fresh.
- Be a free agent -- While health clubs offer a variety of equipment,
weights, and classes, none of that is necessary. Thousands of people exercise
every day with no more than a solid pair of sneakers. Some people prefer
the fitness center environment, but you do not need a gym to get fit.
Plan on making physical activity a part of your everyday life. Do
things you enjoy. Go for brisk walks. Ride a bike. Dance. Work around
the house and in the yard. Trim your hedges without a power tool. Rake
leaves. Climb stairs!
- From Feeling Fit For Life, National Institutes of Health
Review Date: 3/12/2007
Reviewed By: Benjamin W. Van Voorhees, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
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