Exercise - No Time? No Problem!
I was trying to decide what to write about regarding exercise. I googled it on the internet which responded with 1,680,000,000 selections in 0.93 seconds. Amazing how much people have to say about exercise. It must be something worth thinking about and worth doing. So many times, we equate exercise with weight loss. But today I would like for you to start thinking differently about exercise. Think of it as a second job. Make a commitment to exercise the same as you would to going to work. Think of exercise as something that is needed to make the machine, our body, work smoothly and efficiently. But who has time for exercise?!
One of the best changes to happen over the past few years regarding exercise is the concept that workouts do not have to happen all at once to be effective. Exercise physiologist Liz Neporent, MS, CSCS, author of Weight Training for Dummies, tells us that, "You’ll burn the same number of calories if you break it up into three sessions." She suggests three five-minute walks, morning, lunch, and evening, adding that in some ways, this is even better than a single 15-minute session. She says, "Since you’re only doing five minutes at a time, you can pick up the pace and work harder than you could for 15 continuous minutes." The benefit? There is a slight rise in metabolism after every exercise period, so three five-minute bouts give you the benefit of that ‘afterburn’ three times during the day.
Television is a great place to go for 10-15-minute workouts. In today’s electronic and virtual world, there is a multitude of stream channels, cable channels, on demand, etc., offering 24-hour access to any length of workout you prefer. With so many from which to chose, you can do a different routine every day.
If you like going to the gym and don't have the time or money to hire a personal trainer, you could put together your own gym routine of varying lengths depending on your time restraints, from 15-minute workouts to a couple hours. I googled exercise apps, and the selections again were endless including links rating the apps! You can put together a little workout routine according to body part on which you wish to focus on any particular day. Many of the apps show you exactly how the exercise is performed. In weightlifting or resistance exercise, variety is the spice of life. I tend to get stuck on all the old stand-by exercises. I now have a tool to change that.
You might decide to have 10-minute walk daily, a 10-minute routine from television and a 10-minute weight resistance routine at home. Maybe a couple times each week, you might get to the gym for 45 min to one hour. Maybe occasionally, you might visit the YMCA or YWCA for a 30-minute swim or an outdoor bike ride and work that heart out a little. We should try to have a challenge workout occasionally. But make exercise work for you. If time is the obstacle, short periods of exercise 5-15 minutes are invaluable. Since each period of exercise kick-starts the metabolism, we can turn our body into a burning machine rather than a storage machine.
Lastly, think about adding a little deep breathing each time you do those short periods of exercise. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Imagine a balloon in your belly inflating as you inhale and deflating as you exhale. All that is needed is just three or four deep breaths a few times per day. Proper breathing supplies more oxygen to the blood and to the brain. Deep, slow, relaxed breathing practiced on a regular basis has been shown to reduce stress and help reduce blood pressure and blood sugar, symptoms of depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and indigestion. It can increase our ability to cope with life’s many stresses, big and small. If practiced regularly, deep breathing can become something we do naturally whenever we feel stress. Consistency is the key. Practice daily.
So, no more excuses! Decide today to make exercise a way of life, in whatever time periods work in your life schedule.