With today's hectic lifestyles and busy schedules it can be a real challenge when trying to find time to fit in exercise. The key is to make it convenient. Try some of the following tips to squeeze more physical activity into your busy day.
Wake up early. Wake up 30 minutes early and use the time to walk on the treadmill or take a brisk walk around the neighborhood.
Make household chores count. When you're doing your chores, do them at a fast enough pace to get your heart rate going both indoors and out.
Be active while watching TV. Use hand weights, ride a stationary bike or do your favorite stretching routine while watching your favorite shows.
Involve the whole family. Take family walks before or after dinner. Play catch, or ride bikes. It's best to work up to 30 minutes of exercise, but you can get that in with short bursts throughout the day.
Walk the dog. If you have a dog, take them for a brisk walk. It will become routine and they will be just as excited about getting exercise as you will be.
Get social. Some people do better when having a commitment to another person or a group. Look up some group exercise classes, find a hiking club, or join a team.
Be active while running errands. Park at the back of the lot when you go to the store. Take the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator when at the mall.
Make the most of your commute. Walk, run, or ride a bike to work instead of driving.
Take fitness breaks at work. Instead of hanging out in the lounge, take a short walk.
Start a lunchtime walking group with co-workers. The regular routine and support of your co-workers may help you stick to a program.
Schedule physical activity as you would any other appointment during the day. Don't change your exercise plans for every interruption that comes along. Remind yourself that physical activity is important, too.
If you travel for work, plan ahead. Bring your jump-rope or choose a hotel that has fitness facilities. If you're stuck in an airport waiting for a plane, grab your bags and take a walk.
Remember, there is no single best way to fit exercise into your day. Do what works for you, and make a habit of getting some form of physical activity everyday.
Corinna Maggy is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. The information contained within Health Matters is not a substitute for professional medical examination, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician before starting an exercise program or beginning any nutritional regimen.