There’s no denying it—Americans are more stressed out, overworked, sleep deprived, and overweight than ever. It’s a dangerously unhealthy combination, and it doesn’t have to be this way. Feeling burnt out, irritable, lethargic, or fatigued? Exercise—even in small doses– can make a big difference.
I know what you’re thinking. I already know that I need to exercise, but I don’t have time. I’ve been there (and I still feel that way often), but let’s be honest. You’re not doing yourself any favors by making excuses. So if you’re ready to take action and commit to your health, here are three easy ways you can incorporate exercise into your busy day-to-day life.
1. Invest in an at-home workout DVD you really love.
Okay it doesn’t have to be a DVD ;-). It can be a blu-ray, an OnDemand workout, or even a fitness routine from YouTube. The point is this—find a workout routine you really like and can complete from the comfort of your home. Start small. Commit to using it two or three mornings per week (or evenings if you prefer).
Taking the first step is the hardest, so set yourself up for success. Put your workouts in writing—schedule time on the calendar. Blog or tweet about your plans so you feel accountable. Then set an alarm and stick with it!
One of my favorite at home workouts is the 10 minute Solutions Pilates with Lara Hudson. I’ve been using it since college, and it’s easy to follow but still an effective workout. And the best part—it’s broken up in 10 minute segments so I can choose to do a 30 minute, 60 minute, or 20 minute workout, depending on what my schedule permits.
2. Get Social
And no, I’m not talking about Facebook or Twitter. Swap out happy hours with friends for a walk at the lake, or a run in the park.Date night coming up? Make it a bike ride, tennis match, or night of bowling.
New in town or just want to make new friends? Join a local recreational league and take up kickball, softball, or even skee ball (yes—skee ball leagues exist, and they’re awesome). The possibilities are endless, and many of these leagues only require a one night per week commitment. The bottom line here: make exercise fun, and use it as an opportunity to spend time with friends. Win-win!
3. Ditch the chair
Most of us sit at desks all day. This is no fun, but it’s also dangerous. People who are sedentary are more prone to heart disease, obesity and depression. If your boss is cool with it, why not switch to a standing desk? If that’s not possible, consider bringing in an exercise ball. I like pushing my chair aside and sitting on a balance ball for an hour or two at the time. It’s a great core workout, improves my posture, and also allows me to move. Bonus: all of this often makes me feel more creative and energetic.
What advice do you have for incorporating exercise into a busy schedule? Do you have a favorite at-home fitness routine? Share your advice in the comments!