Monday, December 19, 2011

Fitness Time.

One of the things I frequently hear from others is that they don't have the time to focus on exercise.

I understand that people are busy. I realize that many of you have families to care for. You may also work. I realize that there really just do not seem to be enough hours in the day.  I also know that sleep is a vital part of your health; and that many of you probably do not get enough.

As stated in a prior post...You need to plan. 

Sometimes it's more than your exercise and healthy eating.  Maybe you need to figure out a general daily plan. I realize that life happens and sometimes we deviate from such plans, but you'd be surprised at how much a plan can really help your life.

That being said....Exercise; there are ways you can fit it in.

If you're a stay-at-home Mommy, which is let's face it a full time job in itself, you can come up with some creative things to do.

Young children? Make nap time your "me" time.  Or find activities that give you exercise but also include your children. Even a little exercise is better than no exercise.  School aged children? Find a place to fit your exercise into the day while your children are at school.

If you work part-time, make your work days your days off from exercising.  On your days off, exercise!

Working full-time includes such a variety that it's hard to say one thing that will work best for everyone. There isn't a universal work-time exercise that I've found, or created yet.

Some of you work, on your feet, the majority of the day. Some of you are so busy you may not eat your lunch. Hint? EAT your lunch!! If you are already on your feet, see if you can walk at a faster pace. It's simple enough, and should be easy to do...Unless you already spend your day running at high speeds. I am unaware of a job that requires 8 or more hours of constant running. However, if you know of one, please enlighten me. Also, take the "long way" instead of a short-cut that you may use.  Take the stairs, not the elevator.  Park a little farther away. Look for little changes that can be made. Over time the little things will add up.  Sure, you won't see immediate results from those things and you really do need to do more than just making little changes, but it's a start.  Good habits can result from those small changes.

If you have a job that's mostly standing with little walking, do an activity like squats when you have a few moments. For example, if you're a bank teller, those counters are high.  If someone comes into the lobby, they won't know if you were doing squats or just picking something up off the floor. Your co-workers may notice, but take it as an opportunity to share with them a way to add some exercise into their day.  Share your efforts to get healthy. Who knows, you may start an at-work exercise trend.

Some of us have jobs that are mainly desk-jobs with some walking mixed in. I'd say I end up sitting more than I am up, moving around.  A lot of my work is on my computer. I do a lot of reading, writing, and faxing.  People stop in to talk, which of course involves sitting.  When I go to see a patient, I stand. Even if they offer for me to sit, I politely refuse. I just tell them that I spend a lot of time sitting and that it feels good to stretch my legs out by standing up.  I take the "long way" when I walk around the building.

Another easy thing I've done is wearing heeled shoes. These are not pumps or stilettos. It's actually too disruptive to wear clicky shoes where I work. People are sleeping, resting, or visiting. The "click-clack" sound is not a nice (and often unwelcome) distraction. Rubber heels are best. They have cushion and also a little bounce, while giving me that extra little bit of muscle work. My most recent choice of shoe is a pair of Sketchers wedges...closed-toed and black so they are still professional and follow all the rules (blah). I do have flats that I wear at times, but lately these have been my shoe of choice.  I'll gladly take the extra little health benefit they give me.

If you're like me, sitting for long periods of time is an annoyance.  I get restless, shift in my eat a lot, and sometimes really just have to get up and move. 

I try to do exercises at my desk, not only to get the benefits but also to relieve the tension I feel from sitting so much.  I may do leg lifts, or even something simple like contracting and releasing my abs. Easy. No one seems to notice. I can do them while I work at my desk.

Unfortunately these times seem to be fairly random.  I think about doing those exercises "here and there" and do them, but then slowly forget.  I think it needs to become a habit, just like any type of exercise.

My schedule varies from day-to-day. I can follow a basic schedule for each day of the week, as far as knowing what I'll have going on on which day however lots of things tend to come up as the day goes on.  It makes it hard to say "at these times I will do this..."  Instead my goal will be that four times a day, ideally two in the morning and two in the afternoon, I will complete a round of desk exercises.

I found an article listing four easy exercises that I can do while sitting. These will not replace anything in my normal routine. They will be simple additions that I can do while I work. Most are not going to be noticeable but one or two of them will be. This doesn't bother me.  I am slightly fearful of the "AB Lift."  My chair is on wheels. I can see this resulting in a minor injury. Or at least a little fall from the chair. I'll see how it goes! Please see the link below for exercises and instructions.

I may substitute some seated crunches for that hovering exercise...Or maybe do both. They are pretty obvious, and a little funny to watch, but it doesn't take long to do them. However, I'm thinking that they'll be a little safer since my chair is on wheels and all.

To do a seated crunch:  You should be sitting up straight, grip the edge of your chair and then bend forward and down slightly. Hold your abs tight, and make sure your movement is controlled.

For the exercises I discussed above please visit:,0,0#1

Even on days when you don't have time for a full workout, you can do simple exercises that will benefit your body.  Don't hesitate to get creative!


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