Monday, January 24, 2011

I love to exercise. The rush of adrenaline and exhilaration of accomplishment that accompanies vigorous physical activity offers a thrill like no other. Even the feeling of exhaustion after a good workout is more than made up for by the sensation of rejuvenation that comes a few minutes later. Unfortunately, I often don't have time for a proper workout, and many other people are in the same boat. We realize we should exercise regularly--and we would if we had the time--but life's fervent pace has a way of forcing its way into the empty hours of our day planners.

The chief problem is time: exercise takes up far too much of it. Stretching for 10 minutes and then walking for 30 minutes on the treadmill requires a block of time that many of us simply can't spare. Worse, if we ever do 40 minutes to ourselves, we are inevitably interrupted by one of a dozen imminent distractions that require our immediate attention. Even if the day were 36 hours long, we'd probably have trouble finding the time: we'd be too busy taking care of everything else we'd need to get done. Luckily, there are several ways to inject our day with a sufficient amount of exercises that are easy to implement and effective.

Start the Day With Stretches

A big deterrent to working out during the day is the extra time we have to spend stretching in order not to hurt ourselves. However, you can avoid this pitfall by stretching when you wake up as part of your daily routine. If you don't have time to stretch in the morning, wake up a few minutes early. It only takes five or ten extra minutes to feel looser, more relaxed and be more active the rest of the day.

Be Brisk and Move About

A lot can be done toward improving your personal fitness simply by imbuing our everyday activities with a bit of extra vigor. When walking, you can move a bit faster with longer strides--your calves should burn a bit at first with the extra effort. If you have to sit down for an extended period, move about in your seat and stand up for a short stroll or some quick stretches several times an hour. Our bodies notice long lapses in activity and acclimate to behaviors quickly.

Short Bursts of Exercise are Just as Good

It's erroneous to think that we need to exercise for one, steady block of time each day for it to benefit us. Take three 10-minute periods each day to go for a power walk, run on the treadmill, lift weights or any number of other strenuous activities and you will receive the same benefit as a medium-paced, 30-minute workout.

Eat a Snack or Small Meal After Working Out

Recent research suggests that having a small low-carb snack after working out promotes the body's use of sugar in the bloodstream. So don't go hungry, a salad or piece of fruit after a workout can measurably improve your fitness progress.

Give Yourself a Bit More Work

We can easily increase the amount of exercise we get by actively making things a bit harder on ourselves. Simple things like parking at the far end of the lot, avoiding elevators and using a walking lawnmower instead of a riding lawnmower all add up at the end of the day.

Work Out When You Have the Chance

Most important to integrating physical fitness into our lives is taking opportunities to exercise when they're presented. It's easy to become lackadaisical toward exercise, especially when you don't often get the chance for a proper workout. Yet once you make exercise a habit, it becomes second nature.

I've often heard the expression "fitness is a way of life," and though it may sound trite, to an extent it remains true. Exercises is a way of life in that in the course of each day we need to find places where it will fit. If we can't make it to the gym for an hour, or even a half-hour, each day we need to make it up in bits whenever we have a moment.  Doing so is actually easier than it sounds, avoiding being sedentary can be as simple as acting energetically while doing menial tasks. This approach might seem like using baby steps to climb a mountain, but in time we'll look back and see the valley in which we started.

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Katie
Whangarei, Northland, New Zealand
Hi.. Im Katie. I am 20 years old. I am a student nurse. I love learning about healthy eating and living healthy lifestyles. There are so many lies and myths about the food we eat today and I am determined to spread the word. If you have any questions don't be shy to ask. Email me at k_rotgans@hotmail.com P.S I am not a doctor, I do not diagnose conditions. I am just hear to educate myself and others. Any symptoms I address please see your doctor.
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