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! 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.
Use the stairs. If your work or railway station or housing accommodation has a lift or elevator or escalator – use the stairs instead. If you can’t manage the whole way up, just use the stairs for part of your journey. One person liked to go to the canteen each day and that was on the 6th floor of the work building. She couldn’t face the thought of climbing 6 flights of stairs, so she told herself that she only needed to do 1 flight of stairs and she could take the elevator from the first floor. After a while, she used the stairs to the second floor every time but each time, she told herself she only had to walk 1 flight. After reaching the top of the first flight, she rested and told herself, “Just 1 more flight” and made it up the 2nd flight. Eventually she walked the whole way to the 6th floor, every day and some other colleagues started doing that too, along with her.
If you travel to work by car, park further away from the entrance. Or if you are using the car to shop at a big supermarket, or mall, park further away from the entrance. You’ll not only get the benefit of the extra exercise, you’ll keep your car safer too. Everyone else fights to park near the entrance and that’s where bumps and knocks happen.
Rearrange your office space so you have to get up and down from your seat more often. Thin people are often thought of as “fidgety”, “never still”, “always on the go”. Copy them, keep yourself moving, except when you are consciously resting. This gives you exercise without even having to use time. Use some of the items around you as “weights”. Even a can of beans can act as a small weight for bicep curls or shoulder lifts. Think that’s not enough? Too light? Get yourself a small glass of water and hold it out at arm’s length. How long can you hold it there? Twenty minutes? Two hours? After a while, your arm will feel extremely tired, even from a small glass of water. And if you haven’t been doing any exercise at all, even a small amount is better than none. Even boxers, who use their arms a great deal, do arm exercises that don’t use any weights and they certainly have well toned arms.
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.