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Who has an extra hour to spend walking a several miles, sweating in a gym or taking a yoga class, right? Well, you don’t have to carve out a whole hour to put your body through some healthy paces.
Start small. It may not seem so daunting if you devote just 30 minutes a day to moving your body. You may be surprised how quickly you look forward to your feel-good habit. Just as important, you may be surprised to discover it’s really easy to find the time.
Need a little nudge? Here some ways to fit exercise into your daily routine:
Make a schedule and stick to it. Open your calendar and block off some time at least five days a week to work out. Treat it like any other appointment or meeting you wouldn’t dare blow off. Plan out the type of exercise you’re going to do each day ahead of time. For instance, on Mondays you may plan to run three miles. On Tuesdays, you might set aside time to do some weight training. When you go into your workout with a goal, you’re less likely to get lazy and quit early.
Wake up earlier. Most of us have to wake up early during work days, so the idea of getting up even earlier may not seem too appealing. It makes sense, though. If you’re going to have a super busy day or evening, the morning might be the only time to fit in some exercise. Pack a bag the night before with your work clothes and toiletries. Sleep in the clothes you’re going to work out in. When morning comes, literally roll out of bed, pick up your bag and head to the gym.
Turn your commute into a workout. Instead of hopping on the train or driving, ride your bike, run or walk to and from work. You might even find that your commute is a little faster since you won’t have to deal with traffic or train schedules.
Work out during lunch. Use your lunch break to go for a run or bike ride. It’s a great way to clear your head and relieve some stress. It’s also nice to check off your workout early so you can do something else in the evening.
Plan physical activities with family or friends. If you’re having trouble finding time to exercise, try incorporating physical activities into the time you spend with friends, family or significant others. Go for a long walk after dinner or drinks. Take a hike, play a pick-up game, enjoy a rock-climbing adventure or try dancing lessons. Having someone else to work out with makes it more fun and is a great way to stay motivated.
Make use of your TV time. Watching TV is one of life’s simple pleasures. Instead of just vegging out on the couch, try moving around while you catch up on your favorite shows. Do some stretching, lift some free weights, hop on the treadmill or elliptical. You might even find that your workout will go by even faster because you are distracted.
Join an intermural sports league. Exercising can be a fun way to hang out with friends and meet new people. Look up the intermural sport leagues in your area and see if any of the activities interest you. Ask your friends to start up a softball, volleyball or basketball team or join an existing team.
How do you fit fitness into your week? We’d love to hear your tips!
Originally published 1/5/2016; Revised 2021
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