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No Time to Exercise?
by Kim Farmer

How To Fit It In Even When You Are Too Busy!

With the hectic pace of our society today, you may find it difficult to keep up with the demands placed on you day after day. However, I am a strong believer that finding time to exercise is not something that we can keep putting off until we find the ‘right time’.

Research demonstrates that cardiovascular exercise reduces your risk of cancer, provides you with increased energy levels, reduces your risk of diabetes, stroke or heart attack, as well as lowers your cholesterol levels. The US government has even contributed to this important topic by stating that you should do some form of sustainable cardiovascular activity for approximately 30 minutes most days of the week. Most of the recommendations that you will hear involve walking, jogging aerobic activity, swimming and biking. These are all excellent ways to increase your heart rate and challenge your major muscle groups and it sounds pretty straightforward, right? However, many of us just can’t seem to fit it in our busy schedules, even if it is only 30 minutes.

As a Personal Trainer with two small children and a husband who also works, I know what a challenge it can be to carve out those precious 30 minutes during a busy, hectic day. So I came up with some creative ways to help you reach this all-important 30-minute goal while still getting your daily activities accomplished.

The first thing you must recognize is that your life is probably not going to get any less busy any time soon. So you may as well quit telling yourself, “When I finish school I’ll start exercising,apostrophe or “When the kids get older I’ll have more timeapostrophe. It is undoubtedly true that there are some life events that have stages with a pre-determined end date, however it is also undoubtedly true that this “freeapostrophe time will certainly be filled by something else.

Once you have succumbed to this realization, the next step is to take advantage of small windows of opportunity to fit exercise in. Perhaps your schedule is so busy that you can’t find 30 consecutive minutes. That is why I am giving you some ways to fit it in, even if it isn’t 30 consecutive minutes. This will take some creativity, but it can be done if you are willing to try it. Here are some suggestions:

• If you have a fitness center at your place of work, it is IMPERATIVE that you join it! Your lunchtime is precious and should not be used only for eating. Try going to the fitness center for 20 minutes and use a cardio machine like the treadmill; or if there is no fitness center, try walking briskly outside for 20 minutes. Be sure to eat after you walk to ensure you don’t upset your stomach.

• If you have small children, that is PERFECT! They have lots of energy and can get you moving even if you don’t want to. One activity you can do is to play tag with them. Since you run faster, add something extra like intermittent bunny hops or high knee raises as you run. Another activity that proves time-efficient is to have a jump roping contest with them and count how many jumps each of you can do in 2-minutes.

• Take your kids on a bike ride, but you jog alongside them. Have them ride slower if you are having a hard time keeping up with their pace. When you get to your destination, have them get off their bikes and do jumping jacks with you. Repeat this for the trip back home.

• If you have time to watch TV, then you have time to exercise! During the time that the TV is on, use this prime time. Get off that couch and get moving! There are almost no limits to what you can do: Squats, lunges, running in place, jumping rope, jumping jacks, push ups, sit ups--take your pick! Whatever you do, just do something!

• If you have an infant or toddler, I would highly recommend investing in a carrier that will attach to the back of your bike. I haven’t seen one child that doesn’t love the ride, and you are working your leg muscles at the same time. I would also recommend purchasing a jogging stroller so that YOU get exercise while walking or jogging, and you and your little one get some fresh outdoor air.

• When you are going grocery shopping, park far away from the entrance to the store (even consider parking on the next block). When you come out with your bags, you will get a workout carrying the extra load.

These are just a few suggestions to increase your exercise levels. If you can incorporate some of these ideas into your daily activities a couple of times a day, then you may get the minimal 30 minutes that you need. At the very least, I hope it will get your creative juices flowing. Of course everyone should consider an exercise program that is tailored for them which includes a flexibility, strength and cardio plan. I would also recommend that you take a couple of minutes to warm up before any workout and cool down and stretch afterward. It is also important for you to use the proper form when you are exercising which includes good posture and proper breathing techniques. As a personal trainer, I would be happy to help you with these things at no cost. Happy exercising!

About the author:

Kim Farmer is a Personal Trainer and Clinical Exercise Specialist working in the Denver Metro Area. She can be reached at 720-436-3899 or kfarmer@MileHIghFitness.com. You may also visit her website at http://www.milehighfitness/.