In today’s fast paced, over- achieving world it is very easy to get wrapped up in to the all or nothing mentality. We have all heard about the studies that show that by exercising at least 30 minutes a day most days of the week, we can significantly decrease our risk for obesity and obesity related diseases, and we WANT to exercise most days of the week, it’s just that, well, reality doesn’t always let that happen. Human nature leads us to believe that if we can’t do it all and achieve the “perfect” 30 minutes then we might as well do nothing except tune in to another episode of The Biggest Loser.
This week, instead of falling in to the all or nothing trap, remind yourself to just do what you can. Maybe, your child is home sick with a cough so you can’t make it to the gym, that doesn’t mean you need to sit on the couch all day! You can easily fit in an exercise video while they nap or watch cartoons in a separate room. Perhaps, if they are feeling better by the afternoon, the two of you can set up a dance party in the living room and get down to a few songs! I haven’t met a kid yet who will turn down an opportunity to get their groove on!
If you find yourself having one of those crazy office days, take just a few minutes every hour or so to do some gentle stretching and deep breathing at your desk. Walk over to your coworkers desk instead of sending an email, if they are on the other side of the office, even better! Or, offer to run down to the copy machine (or out to the coffee shop) and do some lunges while you wait for them to print or deep breaths on your walk to the coffee shop.
Some weeks are so hectic you may find yourself running from kids to job to errands and everything in between, without any time to spare. These are the types of weeks that it can be even more important to schedule time for the gym or squeeze in a yoga class, (and learn to use a crock pot)! Often, just by putting exercise in our planners we have a better chance of actually doing it. If there is no space in your calendar for regular exercise, wake up a few minutes early and do some stretches, yoga moves or light weights before you start your day. End your day with 10 minutes of light exercise before going to sleep – whatever amount you can squeeze in is better than none. I love the crock pot for these types of days or weeks because I don’t need to stand over a stove for a half hour making dinner. While dinner simmers in the crock pot, I’ll take the kids out for a quick bike ride. If you have a dog, this is a perfect time to take them for a walk.
As you begin to switch from, “I can’t or I don’t have time to exercise” to “What can I do today or what do I have time for?” you may begin to notice a shift in the way you view physical activity. By being gentle with yourself, accepting the place where you are and finding ways to overcome obstacles you will move towards a healthier place! As you become more physically active you may discover you not only enjoy exercise but look forward to making time in your day to fit it in!
How do you sneak in physical activity when your life gets crazy? Please share your thoughts!