Would you love to do some exercise
but feel selfish trying to find the time?
Well, just like the airline safety videos say in the oxygen mask video, Help yourself first.
The reason they say that is because you can’t help anyone else (child, spouse, parent, friend, etc) if you collapse from lack of oxygen. Exercise is exactly the same, you need to set yourself first for a while to get the time for exercise. And if you find it difficult to get the time for exercise because of all the other things you have to do, then think about how those others will manage, or not manage if you become ill from lack of exercise!
Get a Routine
You NEED to put your exercise needs into your regular routine. If you have a
calendar, block out a small amount of time each day or a larger amount of time 3 days a week for your exercise. Current recommendations are for 30 minutes exercise each day but it doesn’t all have to be done at once. Can you spare 10 minutes, three times a day? That adds up to your 30 minutes a day. If you are just starting out on exercise and cannot afford 30 minutes a day, then start off with just 10 minutes a day. After all, even 10 minutes is better than none at all, especially when done regularly. Exercise doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym, or for a 10 mile hike. Exercise is just moving your body or putting a little more effort into it. There are some really easy peasy ways to add extra exercise into your daily routine.
Planning a family picnic at the local park? Take along a Frisbee, the bicycles and or a soccer ball. You can also play a game of tag or kickball in an open field. Fun activities are a great way to burn calories while spending time together and many times, they don’t cost a thing.
Try to cut down the amount you rest during your time in the gym. Many people have limited time, and you should try and rest less during the beginning of your workout when your muscles are less tired, and at the end you can rest more when they are fatigued.
Exercise at least once a day. Exercising decreases body fat and tones and strengthens muscles, therefore causing weight loss. Start off by doing strenuous exercise for about five minutes, then each day after, add a little more time, working your way up to 30 minutes. Once you are able to exercise for 30 minutes, try exercising for a longer period of time or more strenuously.
Start small. You may know that you need to set aside a good bit of time for exercise but feel you just can’t manage it. If so, start small. Build in 10 minutes of planned exercise a day. Work at it regularly to develop the habit, then add to that, a little at a time. Also, build exercise into your ordinary daily life, by making yourself walk a little further or do a bit more exercise to get where you want to go. It ALL adds up.
Getting started on exercise can be hard. “I don’t know how”, “I don’t have time”, “I can’t afford it”. None of these excuses is true. That’s all they are – excuses! We all know we need to get a certain amount of exercise. That’s a no-brainer. It screams at us from web sites, posters and magazine articles. And we know we “ought” to do it. After all, our families need us and they need us to be healthy.
Attacking the Excuses
Think how much more pleasant life is when you’re fit and can do things for yourself, instead of being dependent on others unnecessarily.Let’s attack the “I don’t know how” first. If you can walk, you already know how you can get fit – walk more. Walking is a great exercise and also low impact. What about the “I don’t have time”. Can you find 10 minutes to surf the net, watch TV or read the back of a sauce bottle? That 10 minutes can be used to help you get fit. The latest recommendations are for 30 minutes exercise a day – that’s just 3 sessions of 10 minutes. If you can’t fit in 3 sessions, start off with just one 10 minute session. Every little helps. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. And finally, “I can’t afford it”. Want to do some weights? Use a can of food in each hand. You can do bicep curls and shoulder presses with those. Even boxers do some exercises without any equipment at all – and look at how fit they are. Here are some other suggestions to knock those “don’t know how”, “no time”, and “can’t afford it” excuses on the head.
If your home or office has stairs, use them, or use them more often. Give yourself a
reward every time you climb the stairs. It can be a tick on a chart, with a penny for each tick at the end of the week. Use the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator when travelling. Use the upstairs bathroom instead of the ground floor cloakroom when you “need to go”. Just climbing the stairs a few extra times a day will help improve your fitness very quickly.
Park Further Away
When driving, park your car further away from where you’re going. At the mall or supermarket you usually get a trolley to cart your goods, so it isn’t as if you have to carry really heavy stuff. Park further away from your office and walk in. In many towns, the outer car parks are cheaper than ones in the centre of town. You could save money too.
Move a bit More
If your job is office based, try and make sure you get up and down more often. Talk to colleagues instead of sending emails. Go fetch your paper and office needs instead of getting someone else to fetch them. Walk to the bathroom more often.
Starting out on fitness improvement is not difficult – it just takes the decision to get started. Don’t worry that you’re not doing as much as someone else, just get started and build it up gradually.
Developing your own Fitness Routine
Starting out to get fit can seem a bit daunting at first. There are lots of things to think about, and so many ways to do them. Try these tips.
- Write down your fitness goals, eg, run half a mile, climb the stairs without panting, cycle one mile, walk to the shops;
- Think about which different ways you could use to reach them, such as walking, swimming, going to the gym, cycling, getting an exercise video;
- Write down when you will be able to work out, eg 5 days a week, 3 days a week, every morning / evening;
- Once you have a week’s or month’s worth of activities you would like, diarise them in your calendar and stick to them;
- Update your goals by crossing off what you have done. It really helps to see just how far you have come;
- Get a buddy to work out with you and cheer you on – you will do the same for them. Having support can really help in the beginning, especially when you feel like giving up.