How to Incorporate Exercise into a Busy Lifestyle

1. Avoid “all or nothing” thinking. Keep the American College of Sports Medicine Guidelines* as a goal, but remember, every little bit helps. A 5 minute walk is better than 5 minutes of sitting. Little by little we go far.

2. Don’t think of exercise as “one more thing to do”, rather, think of being a little more active in the time you have. For example, take the stairs for 1 -2 flights instead of the elevator; take a “walk break” instead of a coffee break. Stretch as you watch the news. Be active with your spouse, children, friends: meet for a walk or workout instead of going out for a meal. Get a pedometer and gradually increase your steps.

3. Set realistic, achievable goals: (e.g. I will be active 15 minutes a day, 4 times this week; NOT I will run 5 miles 6 days this week!

4. Remember, change is difficult. Progress, not perfection is the goal.

5. Ask your family, friends for support. Instead of store-bought gifts ask for a gift of time like babysitting, (e.g. so you have time to exercise). Since each hour of exercise adds two hours to your life expectancy, they’ll be helping you stay around longer – and healthier – to have MORE time with them!

6. Do isometric exercises like holding in your abdominal muscles (but don’t hold your breath) while you drive, wait in lines, or work at the computer.

7. Carry a Dynaband with you for “stretch and tone” breaks.

8. Think of exercise as a necessity and schedule time in your appointment book just as you would doctor visits, PTA meetings, etc. Be sure to schedule in a fun activity that you’ll look forward to and enjoy – you’ll be less likely to cancel.

9. Give yourself exercise as a reward – you’ll feel better, sleep better, be more energetic and alert, and a lot less likely to develop heart disease, colon cancer, adult on-set diabetes, and depression. You deserve a break today > > Time to workout!
Copyrighted 1994
Linda Ciotola, M.Ed., CHES (ret.),TEP.