inner engine fitness

building a better body

Small Steps to Fitness

on May 25, 2013

There are many ways to incorporate activity into your busy schedule.  It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing endeavor, as many people think of exercise today.  Calorie-burning can fit neatly into your already-packed routine.  Here are some ideas on how to make that happen today!

First, you need to think about activities you enjoy doing.  That is one of the keys to making exercise become a permanent part of your life.  Maybe you like to dance or ride your bike.  Perhaps you are a natural at climbing stairs.  Maybe you like jumping rope or kick-boxing.  The sky is the limit.  Think of what you like to do and you will be more likely to keep doing it.  Believe me, there are enough activities out there to engage in that you can fit something fun and sweat-provoking into your routine.

The next step is to figure out how much time you can feasibly spend on the activity or activities you have chosen.  For instance, if you like to bike-ride, maybe you can wake up thirty minutes earlier in the morning to take your spin around the neighborhood.  (Hint: adrenaline feels a whole lot better than hitting your snooze button!)  If you like to dance, set a timer for ten minutes or pick a few songs to dance to while you are getting the coffee ready in the morning or getting dinner ready at night.   You can cut a rug in your living room until the aroma calls you back from your disco days.

It is quite possible that you only have small amounts of time, but don’t let that stop you!  You could take a break from your screen time at work to stretch or do a few calisthenics, like jumping jacks or jogging in place, for a minute or two at a time.  If you don’t like jumping, you could always do some push-ups, squats, or lunges.  Just take a one minute break every hour and you will have added at least eight minutes of brain boosting exercise to your busy day, without having to invest a ton of time at once.  You can also make several small changes, like standing while talking on the phone, taking the stairs, and parking far away from the office or the grocery store.  Think about what you are able to work into your schedule and make that time work for you!

After you have completed those steps, it is time to keep track of your increased activity.  Make a schedule that you can stick on your calendar or set up reminders on your phone to keep you on track.  If you record your activity, no matter how small the amount of time you have to devote to exercise, you will have made it a reality in your mind and on record.  You can follow your progress and make yourself accountable.  Start with small goals, adding something every week or month.  You can even track how many extra calories you burn, if that helps you with motivation.  For instance, My Fitness Pal is just one of a number of apps available for you to use.

To refresh, aim for a small increase to your activity level at first.  Let’s say ten minutes a day to start.  Frequency makes a difference when making a change in your routine, so make sure to fit it in somewhere.  The more seriously you take it, the less likely you are to give it up.  You can build from there, once you realize that it’s not as hard as you thought it was to incorporate activity into your busy life.  The key is to find the time hidden in your day.  You all have a few minutes that you could spend on activity every day.  All you need to do is to make a plan and start moving today!

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