Most people would agree that exercise is important, yet a survey revealed that only 20.6 percent of people get the recommended amount of exercise per day. These numbers are troubling, especially knowing that more than 5 million deaths have been linked to physical inactivity. The hardest obstacle to overcome for most people today is finding the time to exercise.

This article provides some helpful tips on how you can use the small “pockets” of time during your busy schedule to exercise and stay fit.

A Re-Energized Parent
Being a parent is a rewarding experience, but it can also be a very demanding job. It is not uncommon that a parent might have a hard time making time to exercise during the day. Well, do not fret. There are a number of tricks that parents can use to exercise while still devoting time to your child.

  • Move exercise time to later at night or during the day when children are asleep.
  • Integrate your children into your fitness schedule. Children love to participate in physical activities like running, bike riding, and swimming, etc. It will not only help you stay fit, it will also introduce your children to an active lifestyle at a very young age.
  • You can schedule 3 to 4 days a week to play basketball or soccer with your children depending on the sport they enjoy the most.
  • When doing household chores, figure out if you can add some type of physical activity, such as walking to the grocery store instead of driving or climbing stairs instead of taking the elevator.

Of course, these are just a few examples. You can figure out different ways to integrate fitness into your busy lives.

The Fit Student
Students may also find it hard to find time to exercise. Students quite often juggle work, classes, studying, and socializing. All of these activities make it hard to set a designated time to exercise each day unless they take the initiative and try and maintain a fitness regimen.

The following are some effective examples that some students have used:

  • Exercise while studying. This could be pacing or doing some push-ups while studying. Make it a habit to do causal reading while moving around the room rather than sitting on a chair.
  • Try walking, biking, or running to class or work instead of driving.
  • Participate in a sport that you like. It will work as a stress reliever too.
  • Do simple exercises like squatting and lunges while watching a movie or a TV show.
  • Take a part-time job that is physically demanding. 

Squeezing Fitness Into Your Work Schedule
There is no denying that some jobs are more demanding than others. Some careers can take over a person’s life, depending on how much work needs to be put into it. It is not uncommon to hear a person plan or work on a project at home to make sure his or her project is complete. People that have these types of jobs find it hard to exercise, even though they know it is important. Still, there are some tricks like the following that have worked for overworked people:

  • Go for a walk to do a one-on-one meeting with your team instead of doing it inside the meeting room.
  • When speaking on phone, get up and start moving around the room while talking.
  • During the lunch break, spend 10-15 minutes doing deep breathing exercises to refresh your mind and body.
  • Micro-exercises work for some people. The idea is to simply exercise whenever you have free time; all one needs is 10-20 minutes a day at minimum.

No matter what situation you are in, the trick is to try to integrate exercise routines into your life. This task is not always easy because many activities that you may have to take care of do not seem flexible. However, if you decide to take responsibility for your health, you will begin to see smaller time slots within your daily schedule to work out and keep yourself active.

For more information, visit Careworks.

Author:  Kim Tacconi, PA-C