Thursday, July 16, 2009
Getting exercise is very important to increase your metabolism and help you burn fat. You don’t have to bench press 250 pounds or run the Boston Marathon to get exercise. There are some very simple, easy, and fun ways to get exercise!
And don’t tell me you don’t have enough time to exercise! There are opportunities to get exercise all around you. All you have to do is take them!
We’re going to look at some ways you can work exercise into your day, no matter how busy you are. Let’s face it, almost everyone is busy. We all have things like school, work, and children to deal with. Most of us don’t have nearly as much time as we’d like to complete our daily tasks, must less to exercise and get any entertainment! But there are ways to work exercise into your normal day
In additional to pursuing activities you may really enjoy such as bowling, tennis, swimming, hiking, and other physical activities that might be enjoyable, you can use these tips to make sure you get more exercise every day.
Most people don’t enjoy walking. I’ve seen people wait for 45 minutes for a broken elevator rather than walk up three flights of stairs. I’ve seen people circle a packed parking lot for 20 minutes just to get a parking spot that is 5 spaces closer to the doors, when they could have already been inside and had half of their shopping done! It’s madness!
I purposely park further away from the doors. The only times I purposely park close to the doors are when it’s after 9 PM, when the weather is bad, and when I’m in a real hurry because I have a prior engagement or an emergency to attend to.
You should park beside the furthest cart rack in a parking lot. Not only will you be able to return your cart easily instead of abandoning it haphazardly in the middle of the lot (one of my pet peeves), but you will get some exercise without spending a lot of extra time. It only takes about two minutes to walk across a large parking lot, but the exercise you get is very beneficial.
Take the stairs whenever you can. Elevators are helpful if you have many flights to ascend, or if you’re carrying packages, or if you have small children with you, or if you’re already extremely exhausted or injured. But you should take the stairs whenever it is feasible.
Don’t go looking for excuses to make the elevator “feasible”, either. If you aren’t sick, exhausted, injured, or overburdened, taking two to four flights of stairs isn’t likely to kill you!
You can also get more walking in during your day in other ways. Instead of taking your car down to the end of the driveway to get your mail, just walk. Don’t drive your kid three blocks down the street to play with a friend, walk them there.
Start looking for ways to get more walking into your day. It has been said that it takes at least 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise at a time to have a benefit, but recent studies have shown that may not be true. One study showed that people who exercised a total of 20-30 minutes each day in increments of just a few minutes at a time still experienced the same cardiac benefit as those who exercised for 20-30 minutes at one time.
Plus, it doesn’t make a difference to how many calories are burned whether you break it up or do it all at once. You will also benefit from increased muscle, and muscle tissue burns a lot more energy than fat tissue!
Most people watch a lot of television. The average American watches 28 hours of television per week, about 4 hours every day! That’s a lot of time wasted in front of the tube!
You can put that time to good use by exercising while you are watching television. There are plenty of exercises you can do in front of the TV.
Walking on a treadmill
Riding an exercise bike
Sit-ups and crunches
Walking in place
Bouncing on a rebounder (mini trampoline)
Using a stair stepper
These are all fun, healthy, and not very disruptive of your television watching. You can do many of these exercises while reading a book or magazine, catching up on the local news in the newspaper, or listening to music, too.
There are plenty of things you can do at your desk while you’re at work or school, too. Students and office workers often find that they don’t get enough exercise, because they spend most of their day sitting down. They may have to walk from class to class or run errands, but for the most part, they are very sedentary all day.
This is where it comes in handy to perform exercises that can be done while sitting at a desk. While it won’t exactly be aerobic exercise, it will help you tone your muscles. Not only will you look better, but remember, muscle burns more calories than fat!
Stomach crunches will help you get your stomach muscles toned. Simply suck in and hold your stomach muscles tight and taught for several seconds, then release. Perform this action continually throughout the day whenever you think about it.
You can also walk around doing this during the day. You’ll be toning and building your abdominal muscles while also sucking in and making your belly look flatter!
You can pull your toes upwards and stretch your calf muscles. Just point your toes up toward your knees as far as you can without it becoming painful, hold for a few seconds, and release. Repeat this several times. This can also help prevent blood clots, which are more common in sedentary individuals.
Your bottom may also be somewhat flabby. If so, you can clench your gluteus maximus muscles tightly while sitting in your desk. Hold briefly, and then release. This will help build and tighten your buttocks.
These types of exercises will also work for other parts of your body, including your back, biceps, triceps, forearms, and thighs. Just clench your muscles, hold briefly, and release.
Remember to be careful not to injure yourself. Too much of a good thing is not good. Don’t stretch your muscles until they are painful. A slight discomfort is completely normal, but pain is not. Never work out until you feel pain!
I hope you can see how easy it is to get exercise. You can find time here and there, whenever and wherever you can. Any exercise is better than no exercise at all!