For most, we look at working out as a “chore.” Do we really need to? Most of us dread it: we hear the word “workout” and 90% of us are like “ugh”! First, we are so busy in life that when we are working out, we should not be doing something we do not like. We should enjoy time that time that is invested in ourselves. In other words, we need to find an activity, or easy exercises that we enjoy and are appealing to us. If it is not appealing, we will probably not continue it throughout our life. Second, if you do not like the word workout, don’t use it! When we were young, we played with our friends and we stayed out till we were told to come in. Guess what we were doing? We were active and moving, in other words we were essentially working out and just did not know it.
We have this amazing ability that we can take advantage to move our bodies. We take advantage of this ability until it is taken away from us, whether because we get sick and we can’t or we get injured. When that occurs, we wish we could go for a walk, a bike ride or play sports. Why does it take something like that to happen for us to realize that we have this amazing ability? Instead of telling yourself you need to go workout, look at it as this: we are given this amazing ability that we have to move and we are the only ones that can do that. Consider: if you have to go workout, what is your reaction? Rather, try telling yourself you just have to go move for whatever amount of time that day allots for - what would be your reaction?
Lastly, don’t tell yourself you have to go workout Monday-Friday. Instead, try telling yourself you have to get in 200-250 active minutes a week. That means if on Monday, you only have 5 minutes, that is great because that goes in the bank for the total amount of minutes at the end of the week, and Tuesday you may have 30 minutes. So, no matter if you have 1 minute or 60 minutes at the end of the day, your goal is to move 200-250 minutes by the week’s end, that is a win! A good way to keep track of this is to buy a dry erase board and place it on your fridge or somewhere visible. Every day write down how many active minutes you’ve achieved then at the end of the week, total them up. VOILA!
This technique allows life to happen, because it will! You may not go to the gym one day, but you can still walk for 5 minutes, or do other easy exercises, and place those in the bank for total active minutes. If you would like to get more technology savvy, I use the Garmin Vivo Fit and I love it. It will automatically tell you how many active minutes you had at the end of the day and how many steps you achieved. I will leave you with this: if you are having a hard time getting started, buy a pedometer and track what your average steps are in a normal day. If they are 10,000, steps, then you are doing great. Maybe challenge yourself and increase to 12-13,000 steps. If they are not 10,000 make that your first goal, because on a daily bases we should be hitting 10,000 steps a day. The scary thing is the majority of us barely make it to 5,000 because of our desk jobs. If you find yourself struggling to hit 10,000 steps or to be more active, NO WORRIES. Here are 10 easy exercises to help you make your goals!
1 – Place an alarm on your phone to go off every couple hours, and when it does, take a walk down the hallway. It will help you be more productive!
2 – During commercial breaks, challenge yourself to walk in place or perform 10 squats, 10 High Knees and 10 Butt kicks. You can switch up the exercise to add some flavor, or keep it the same.
3 – Every time you put something in the microwave to cook, rather than staring at it, waiting for it to get done, this is the perfect time to add in some high knees until the microwave stops.
4 – At work, instead of taking the elevator up all the flights of stairs, take the first and second flight of stairs, and then catch the elevator on the third. On the next week, start catching it on the fourth. And, keep elevating!
5 – When you park your car, try to park your car a good distance away from your destination so you have to get in some extra walking.
6 – Try a short pyramid workout, such as the one below. Start with performing 10 repetitions of everything then perform 9, then 8, until you get to 0:
-Squats -Push-ups -Sit ups or Crunches -Jumping jacks
7 – Before you eat a meal, perform 1 set of any exercise for two minutes. This will give you a great feeling before you eat, and can help make you conscious of what you are going to eat.
8 – If meeting a friend for coffee or tea, grab the coffee and go for a walk with them.
9 – If taking a call, take it standing up and walking around.
10 – If you only have 5 minutes, try this workout:
Every 30 seconds, perform 5 push-ups followed by 5 mountain climbers (see below). If you achieve those within 15 seconds, then you have 15 seconds to rest before your next round starts. If you achieve those within 28 second, then you have 2 seconds to rest before the next round.
1 – Start in push up position.
2 – Pull your left knee towards your left elbow keeping your bum leveled.
3 – Place your left foot back in the original position and simultaneously bring your right knee to your right elbow keeping your bum leveled.
4 – Place your right foot back in the original position and simultaneously repeat with your left knee.
Remember this: something gets you something, but nothing will get you nothing. So even 5 seconds of easy exercises are better than zero seconds! Now get up, go look in the mirror, and tell yourself : “I am awesome, and I can do anything I believe in!”
Director, Personal Fitness