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Nicki Jenns

5 Ways to Add Exercise to Even a Busy Schedule

Most people who lead sedentary lives don’t do so deliberately. It is easy to feel, between long hours at the job, the daily commute and household/family duties, like it is not possible to take time out to be physically active. However, even if it takes some changes in the lifestyle, it is well worth the effort: a sedentary life has been linked to serious chronic conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart attack and stroke, just to name a few.


So how can you find time to exercise even with a busy schedule?


Below are five suggestions for making the most out of your day and finding time to be active even if your schedule is a crazy one.


Get Up Half an Hour Early


Especially if you are trying to balance work with raising children, finding time to be active and exercise during the day can be a big challenge. Once the day begins, it doesn’t seem like the schedule lets up until night time, and by then you are probably too tired to commit to an exercise session.


So consider setting your alarm for half an hour before you normally do and use those thirty minutes to take a walk, go through a short yoga routine or lift weights in your basement – basically, whatever it is that you like to do to stay healthy.


Morning exercise has many advantages. For one thing, people usually have the highest energy levels that they will have all day when they first get up. Why not use those energy levels to your advantage and really give 100% to your workout? Also, if you are also trying to lose weight with a program of regular exercise, a morning workout will help boost your metabolism so that you will burn more calories throughout the day, even doing what you normally do. And exercise tends to boost people’s energy levels, so that they feel less draggy and more able to get out and do what needs to get done for the day. In short, it is a win-win situation for you.


Combine Exercise with Chores or Other Errands

If you are like most people, then apart from your job there are probably a dozen or so errands you run during the course of the week. Get creative and combine those chores with a chance to be active.


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For instance, if your dog has to be walked morning and evening, do a slightly longer walk than usual and go around the block twice to get a little exercise. You will feel better for the morning constitutional and your dog will love you for it! If you are going to the grocery store or post office, park as far away from the building as possible so that you have to walk in. Doing a lap or two around the mall if you are shopping is also a great way to increase your activity level.


Unplug!

If you make the resolution to go television- and computer-free in the evening a few times a week, you will be amazed at how much free time you really do have! Most people simply spend too much time behind a screen – and most don’t realize just how much time they are spending. 


Your children may complain, but instead of gathering around the TV set or computer screen, go out to the park with them a few times a week and walk or play on the playground. If there is an indoor pool at your community rec center, you could also consider a family swim once a week. Once you and your kids get used to it, it is amazing how fun device-free living can be!


Make it Social

Many studies have shown that if you have someone to work out with, you are much more likely to stick to a program of regular exercise. So if you like to indulge once a week in a guys’ or girls’ night, for instance, then instead of going out to dinner, try meeting at the local park and walk while you catch up with each other. Or find a friend or two to start an unofficial hiking or basketball or tennis club — whatever sport that you like to participate in – and make a regular thing of it.


Making physical activity social also makes it more enjoyable. It also makes it more likely that you will stick with it. Also, having others who are counting on you to show up might also give you the motivation to be consistent even if you don’t always want to!


Take Advantage of Gaps in Time

Did you get the afternoon off from work? Are your kids staying overnight at friend’s house? One great way to be more active is to take advantage of these unexpected gaps in your schedule. If you suddenly find that you have a few hours of unplanned free time, then go to the park for a walk, head over to the gym for an extra workout, or put on your yoga tape to go through a few positions. 


This will not happen on a regular basis of course, but if you get into the habit of using these unplanned pockets of free time to exercise, then in the long term it will contribute to your overall activity level.


These gaps in the schedule can also mean your weekend. Instead of sleeping in or catching up on errands for the entire day, use at least part of the morning or afternoon for some form of exercise. Depending on where you live, you could even opt for a form of exercise you can’t do during the work week, like hiking at a nearby state park or going kayaking or canoeing in a local river.  


The options are endless.

Some of these sounds like they are pretty small changes. The great things about small changes, however, is that they can really add up, especially in the long term, to a healthier and more active lifestyle.


Author Bio: Udit is a designer of cables with 7 years of experience. He has a strong understanding of cable laying and designing. He also owns a company that is well known for wires and cables manufacturers.