Do you ever feel like it’s just really hard to work in exercise? I know I do. When I was working a 9-5 kind of job (being a stay-at-home mom is still work, just a different type) it always seemed hard to fit it all in: Come home. Change. Go workout. Come back. Cook. Clean. It gets tiring really quickly. And of course, I always thought “I could work this in better if I had a different schedule.” Um, think again. Even with being at home all day (again, still work!), I have trouble keeping up a consistent routine of strenuous physical activity. During the very small window of free time I have, I usually just want to plop down in front of the TV…
So why is exercise important again? (i.e., Is it really that necessary? Everything else feels more necessary…and I’m already tired…) We all know at least one big reason: It helps manage weight. But there are a whole host of other very important reasons we should be intentional to exercise regularly. Exercise has been shown to:
- Relieve stress
- Detox the body
- Manage and/or prevent disease
- Lower blood pressure
- Boost immune system
- Improve mood
- Increase energy
- Help depression and anxiety
- Improve sleep
With all of these benefits in view, exercise should be moving up to the top of our priority list (and I applaud those of you who are already there!). But then comes the question of how to add it to your probably already over-booked schedule, and in such a way that it will be a consistent pattern. This is easier than you think. Below are four pretty basic and inexpensive ways to work in physical activity:
- Walking—This is the most obvious, and probably easiest, way to get more physical activity into your day. It’s a nice way to unwind and you can usually do other things like chat with friends, enjoy the outdoor weather, catch up on TV shows or reading (if using a machine such as a treadmill). It doesn’t require any gear or special clothing or a certain place. In fact, during the summer while I was pregnant with my son, I would go to the mall just to walk (and enjoy some window shopping!) when it was too hot to be outside.
- Mini-Trampoline (also referred to as “Rebounding”)—This is probably my personal favorite. Not only is rebounding easy on your joints, it helps drain your lymph nodes and detox your entire body. It’s very easy to do in the convenience of your home and is also quite fun. (Here’s a great article on the benefits of Rebounding).
- Exercise videos—This is a very convenient way to get physical activity integrated into your routine. Exercise videos can be done during anytime of day or night and in the convenience of your own home (or just take them with you if traveling). They generally require little to no equipment or accessories and there are tons available to fit what you need (Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, basic aerobics, just to name a few).
- Everyday tasks—There are many practical ways to increase physical activity, such as gardening, rearranging furniture, cleaning, mowing with a push mower or helping a friend move. These tasks not only fulfill a practical purpose, but can increase our daily physical activity. What this looks like for me right now is toting (and soon-to-be chasing) my infant son around our house.
One final note—making intentional choices to add activity instead of avoiding it will go a long way. For example, choose the stairs instead of the elevator. Park at the back of the lot rather than circling over and over for the closest spot. Walk to the mailbox instead of picking it up while pulling into the driveway. There are tons of small things we can do to simply be more active. And while none of these are very much in and of themselves, together they can add up.
How do you fit exercise into your schedule?
This post was shared at What’d You Do This Weekend, Anti-Procrastination Tuesday, Healthy Tuesday, Wellness Wednesday, Thank Your Body Thursday, Natural Family Friday, Unprocessed Fridays, Savoring Saturdays