Everyone knows and talks about it, but how many really do it? That elusive 30 minutes of exercise every day, is possible by following a few simple suggestions. Carving a block of time out of a busy day to devote to exercise can seem daunting, but DOING this each day is key to getting fit. For you Ladies who are able to focus entirely on yourself and your fitness for 30 minutes it can become an oasis in an otherwise hectic day. There are some ideas:
Enlist a friend or co-worker to join in the quest for healthy living– Choose someone that is slightly competitive so that both of you will be challenged. The buddy system makes us more accountable and less likely to skip out on the workout. This can take several forms. Meet at the park to walk together before work. Check-in and report your workouts to each other by quick text messages. Community centers and gyms offer many classes that are at least 30 minutes in duration, and are far less intimidating when attended with a friend. The buddy system can help keep us on track and motivated.
Track your progress with reminders and rewards – Smartphones now have apps that show workout reminders, calories burned, etc. A chart on the refrigerator will do the trick as well to remind you as you start your day and as you make food choices. Make a chart by the week or month and give yourself a sticker or a check for every space filled. Use bright colors or fanciful stickers. Promise yourself treats at successful intervals. Maybe it’s a new shade of lipstick or a new pair of earrings for every 10 pounds lost. Stay away from food related rewards and keep the reward realistic so they can be win without wreaking havoc on the budget.
Pick an activity that you can stick with and enjoy – Jogging around a track or lifting weights are the most familiar and are what people automatically think of when they hear the word “exercise”. Expand your horizons. There are many activities you can try that are great exercise and fun. There are adult athletic leagues for sports like kickball or basketball. Adult dance classes range from ballet to zumba. Mix it up and take a yoga class or try martial arts. Make a date to take the kids to the park and play tag or ride their bikes. Exercise takes many forms and is often hidden in play.
Schedule “your” time better – For some people, this will mean getting up 30 minutes earlier every day. Others can fit it in on their lunch break. Make it a priority. Some find it helpful not to allow themselves to watch television or use the computer until they have completed their workout.
Have a contingency plan – For women especially, everyday life can get in the way of the best laid plans. Have a plan for these days. Learn a quick workout that can be done in front of the television, for example you can run up and down the stairs while a commercial break plays. Breaking your workout into 3 sessions of exercise for 10 minutes will still achieve your goal and the activity will keep your mind alert throughout the day.