Exercise is a cornerstone of good health, and it's just too important to skip. Study after study has shown that exercise is the single best thing you can do to prolong your life. By feeling the burn you reduce your risk of a host of cancers, improve mental health, get better sleep, reduce your chance of developing a chronic illness, improve your body and self-image, and can even fight off depression. If you think you don't have enough time for a workout, thing again. You only need 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week – plus a little strength training – to get the benefits of exercise, so here's how to find time in that busy schedule of yours.
1. Increase the activity level of your daily routine
If you don't have time to hit the gym, you need to find other ways to increase the amount of time you spend moving. One of the easiest ways to do this is to simply pump up your activity level. Walk to the store instead of driving. Park further away from your destination than you usually would. Take breaks to do jumping jacks. A few extra minutes spent moving your body can add up to stunning improvements over the course of a year.
2. Take time to stretch
Research suggests that sitting at a desk all day is even worse for your health than not exercising. Reverse this damage by committing to a 10-minute stretch break every hour. Even if you've got a packed schedule, you can stretch on the phone, stand up and type for a few minutes, or take a brisk walk as part of your bathroom break.
3. Work on time management
If you don't have enough time to do the things you need to, odds are good the problem lies with your time management. Do you look at Facebook? Watch TV? Procrastinate? If so, you've got time to exercise. Try making a “time budget” each week laying out how much time you have and how you intend to spend it. When you plan your time and budget it like money, you'll be less likely to waste your precious time on pointless activities.
4. Join a class
If you can't get motivated to go to the gym, try signing up for a class instead. Not only will your recurring appointment give you a strong reason to get moving; the thought of wasting money on a class you never attend can help get you to class even when you'd rather do something else.
5. Play more
If you're overwhelmed by stress, odds are good you don't spend much time playing. Get more joy and more exercise by taking time to play. Join a local recreational league. Walk your dog every night. Chase your kids around the backyard. Dance with your spouse. These play breaks not only improve your health, but also make it easier to cope with the incredible stress of a solidly packed life.
CATEGORIES: Working Out, Tips, Workout, Exercise, Time-management