Getting your body in better shape is more than just eating a better diet. It also includes physical activity. Avoid letting your metabolism slow down because of a lack of activity — regardless of your busy schedule, there are a few ways you can sneak exercise into your daily routine.
1. Park your car at the far end of the parking lot. This has two benefits — first, you spend a lot less time looking for parking spots because everyone else is trying to park closer. Second, you get the benefit of a brisk walk to and from the store or your office. If you wear high-heeled shoes for work, you may want to have flat shoes for walking to and from the car. You can carry a small bag that contains your other shoes and change at the door.
2. Place things you use often into locations that need you to get up and walk to get them. This might frustrate you at first, but just remind yourself of the reason. You are doing your body and health a favor by creating reasons to move around more. This works especially well if you have a two-story home or office. Keep things upstairs so that you need to walk up and down the stairs several times each day.
3. Take the stairs instead of an elevator whenever you can. Whether going up or down, using the stairs gives your leg muscles a better workout than standing in an elevator. You may also benefit from not having to wait for the elevator to come to your floor, and this relieves stress and anxiety when you are in a hurry to get somewhere.
4. Keep small weights by your sofa or chair, and do workouts during the commercials as you watch television. Alternate your activities, and do jumping jacks during one commercial, push-ups during another, or run in place for the duration of a commercial. If a one-hour show has nine commercials, you can get in a 10-to 15-minute workout with no real effort or time lost.
5. Buy one of the books that describes the new “less is more” workout routines by authors such as Jorge Cruise or Tim Ferris. These routines advocate a workout that gets you in shape but takes only five to eight minutes per day. This approach to exercise is backed by plenty of scientific research studies that prove the duration is less important than the exercise activity. These types of routines involve exercises that you can easily do at home in the morning, right after you get up. With such a small time commitment, these exercise plans are guaranteed to fit into the busiest schedules.
There are many other ways that you can integrate exercise and activity into your daily schedule. Exercise does not always have to involve a sweaty gym outing or a grueling three-mile run. Start with the tips above, and over time, you will come up with more of your own ideas on how to integrate a higher activity level as an important part of your on-going lifestyle.