Fitting Fitness Into Your Day

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We all lead busy lives, and sometimes it is hard to fit in those trips to the gym. Still, making fitness a priority is essential. Getting your exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight, keep good cardio-vascular health, and develop strong muscles which aid in preventing injury. Exercise boosts your immune system, gives you greater energy to get through the day, helps you sleep better, and is the best “anti-aging medicine” you can take. A fit, energized body improves your brain function, allowing you to be more productive at work.

Here are some tips to help you fit fitness into your day, despite a busy schedule.


* Keep your gym bag packed and in the car. The same is true for any other fitness equipment you might use. If you run, have your shorts and sneakers ready to go. If tennis is your game, have your racket and balls handy. Make it easy to fit in exercise when the opportunity arises.


* Break fitness into smaller time slots. If you cannot spare an hour at a time, do 30 minutes in the morning and 30 at lunch, or 30 after work. The overall benefit is the same.


* Find an exercise partner. Having a commitment to work out with a partner makes it less likely that you will skip exercising. The two of you will motivate each other and make workouts more challenging and fun.


* Sign up for a class or club. Signing up for a class or joining a tennis team or running club also gives you incentive to show up. Having a specific time where you have to be at the gym helps you keep exercise on the calendar.


* Pick the exercise that is right for you. It does not matter what everyone else is doing–if it is an exercise that you do not like, you will not stick with it. Find something you enjoy. Some people love the gym, others hate the machines. If you want to be outside, try running or tennis, and switch to cross country skiing  or snowshoeing in winter. If you enjoy the social aspect, sign up for aerobic or dance classes. Getting yourself moving on a regular basis is the main thing.


* Keep it simple. Gym workouts are great, but for days when you cannot get there, simple fitness tools can provide the same benefit. Keep a jump rope in your gym bag. Ten to 15 minutes of rope skipping (with breaks) is an excellent cardio workout. Resistance bands are lightweight and portable and can provide a great strength workout. Both a jump rope and resistance bands are perfect for when you travel.


* Add exercise to daily routines. Park further from your destination and walk. Take the stairs. Try climbing extra flights of stairs on your lunch hour. Walk the dog at a brisk pace. Remember, vaccuming, washing the floor, mowing the lawn (push-mower), raking and other yard work can also get your blood pumping.


* Mix Fitness With Fun. Make sure your weekend plans include physical activities that are fun, such as hiking, swimming, skiing, skating, tennis, softball games with friends, and so on. Escape the gym and enjoy the outdoors–you will not even realize that you are exercising!


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