Sneaky Ways to Get Exercise
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We all know how important it is to exercise, yet there are still so many of us who just don't do it. We don't do it because we are too busy, too tired, or other reasons/ excuses.
I know that I spent too many years putting it off myself and it is finally really beginning to sink in just how important it is. Coming to that personal realization is what has changed my attitude and now I find sneaky ways to slip it in.
The reason I find ways to build it in to my routine is because I have realized that if I try to set aside time to do it, then I'll just never get around to it. But, if I sneak it in to what I already do, then I find it's easy to do. Plus, it just starts to become normal and "finding" the time plus actually doing it just comes naturally after getting used to doing some exercise as part of my built-in routines every day.
How I Slip it in
The following are some of the ways in which I slip in exercise. My goal is to convey that if you want to start exercising and want a simple way to start, then some of these can work for you too.
- At the start of your day
I find this tends to be the easiest time to get some exercise in. It also really helps to wake me up too. The reason I find this the easiest time of the day is because one thing I have realized is how much time I spend waiting for things in the morning. I have decided to use that time to sneak in exercise during those times instead of just standing there doing nothing while waiting.
For example, how much time is otherwise wasted while waiting for the shower water to reach just the right temperature? Here is when I sneak in jumping jacks and push-ups. On days I need a change, I switch it up to stretching instead.
Then, I've also realized how easy it is to do leg squats while in the shower. These are really easy to sneak in while washing my hair and such instead of just standing there. It doesn't even interfere with how long it takes either since it's really easy to do both at the same time.
- In the car
This may sound odd, but there are actually a few things you can do while driving instead of just sitting there. This is especially true if you are stuck in a traffic jam. That all said, please keep in mind safety first and I'd recommend skipping them if the weather is bad.
So, what can you accomplish in the car? You can do things like shoulder lifts and back stretches. If you are stuck at a long red light or not moving in a traffic jam, you could do some quick hand/ wrist exercises with a small weight. Or if your car is in park (like during a traffic jam or long light) or on cruise control, you could even do some feet/ ankle stretching.
Sure, they are all low impact, but the idea is that it gets you exercising in some fashion. Please don't discount it because you are making progress towards your goal of getting used to exercising. It really can start to change your attitude and that makes it easier to flow right into a more rigorous routine when you are ready.
- While running errands
Some simple modifications while running errands can help slip in exercise too. I'm sure you've heard of some of these before, but they are very much worth repeating as a good reminder to us all.
If you have kids and you need to pick them up from daycare or school, try walking or riding bikes if you are close enough. When the weather is good here, I pick up our son from daycare by walking there and back as often as possible. Round trip, it's only about a mile and a half; but, multiply that by 5 days a week, and it starts to have a bigger impact on my body. This can also be done when going to the store or when completing other tasks that are close by.
Speaking of going to stores, you can always remember to park in a spot that is farther away from the entrance (if it's a store that isn't close enough to walk or ride your bike to). This may actually help save some time too because you are not wasting time trying to find that often impossible closer spot. Another trick to try is to purposefully walk to the other side of the store before going to obtain what you went there for. Now, I'm not suggesting to purchase more by doing this. The idea is to to walk more to get more exercise. Plus, walking to the other side of the store really doesn't take all that much extra time; this is especially true if you walk at a healthier, brisk pace than you otherwise would.
Have an errand to run in a building that is multiple-floors? Use the stairs to get to your destination instead of using the elevator. It's even possible to get to your destination quicker than if you stood there waiting for the elevator! (I also recommend parking farther at away at work and using stairs at work, if possible, as well.)
- While watching TV
Again, I'm sure we've all heard this one before, but let's all remember how we can make TV watching just a little healthier. You can always find some type of exercise to do while the commercials are on.
Though these are only a part of and a beginning to a good exercise routine, the idea is to just get you started. When you are ready, you can then slip into a healthier, more rigorous exercise routine. By starting slow like this, I've found that these exercises are really easy to increase and I hardly notice the "extra" time it takes. By slowly increasing these exercises, I will soon reach a much healthier, more rigorous exercise routine while setting a better example for my son. And since I started slow, I've found it's much easier to adjust my schedule around it in addition to not even noticing it since it "naturally" became normal.
Keep Going Once You Start
I know just how easy it is to want to give up after initially starting. However, giving up will never produce results. Sure, starting slow like this isn't going to give you major results, but the idea is to recognize the progress you are making.
Just by doing the things I have mentioned above, I have noticed how much easier it is to climb stairs. I am also getting stronger and even lost 5 pounds already even though I've only recently begun. Just this alone has produced more motivation for me to keep going and I've already gone longer with this than I have in the past because of this "new" approach for myself. I have found what works for me and maybe this is what can work for you. You will only see results if you keep going!
Remember Your Diet
Another important aspect to exercising is to also adjust your diet to a healthier one. I have done this by really reducing sweats and what we typically think of as desserts. Instead of having something such as ice cream, I'll reach for unsweetened apple sauce, watermelon, or yogurt instead. I've found that since I've started doing this, I've literally lost my taste and desire for the unhealthier options. It just happens naturally over time and I didn't even really realize it was happening!
Though diet adjustments are important, I'd recommend staying away from dieting. I have never tried a diet program and never will. I see dieting as a short-term solution that usually doesn't solve much. Seriously, how many times have we all heard people gain all their weight back, and then some, after the end of a diet? There really is no way to cheat exercising and genuine diet plus lifestyle changes.
In the end, it's about doing it for yourself and you have to want it. Spend some time with yourself and write down your personal motivators and decide why you want to do this for you. Though I know this list is not comprehensive and is not rigorous enough to really get you in shape, the idea is to just get you starting with something.
If you have other ideas on how to sneak in exercise, please share your thoughts below!
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