by Caitlin Boos
These days there never seems to be enough time to do anything; whether it’s going to work, finishing school, raising a family, or some combination of all three; living in the modern world seldom allows us quiet moments. With all the items on our plates and burdens on our shoulders, the concept of stealing away and doing something not traditionally “productive” - such as exercise- seems almost preposterous. Despite it not necessarily lining up with what most people would consider a pressing priority, exercise is indeed important in an overarching sense: if you aren’t healthy, you won’t be able to handle your responsibilities as effectively.
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Getting enough exercise is immensely beneficial to your overall quality of life: it increases your mood, strengthens your body, boosts your energy, optimizes brain function, helps you sleep better and reduces the risk of diseases, among many other things. Regardless of whether you are wanting to lose weight or maintain a well-toned physique, engaging in physical activity should be something you routinely incorporate into your everyday life and the following, are 5 stress-free ways you can do, exactly that.
Regularly Schedule Going to the Gym
An empirical way to begin exercising more is simply inserting workout sessions at your nearest, newly-reopened gym directly into your current schedule thus, allowing you guaranteed physical activity in a way that doesn’t detract from your more pressing responsibilities. Organizing when you can make it to the gym doesn’t have to be a time-consuming ordeal but rather, one which allows you to honour your school, work and home duties while also reaping the abundant rewards of fitness.
While the concept of a gym may seem daunting at first, the unrestricted access it gives you to vast equipment of all intensities is surely worth gussying up the confidence and motivation for. Build strength with weights, develop stamina with trainers or tone your whole body with machines- whichever health benefit you’re personally pursuing, consider the gym your training grounds of sorts.
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Make the Most of the At-Home Workout
If you’re not quite yet comfortable exercising in a public setting or, perhaps your unique responsibilities have you continually tethered to your home; there are numerous ways for you to get your fitness fix without having to venture out into the unknown.
The availability of gym equipment for purchase makes viable most exercises, and the surplus of workout ideas online gives one access to the same instructions, inspiration and advice a trainer would otherwise provide. Whether included in a magazine article, detailed in a social media post or instructed in a video, various in-depth routines intended to exert each part of your body are available for no fee whatsoever on the internet. If you’re interested in something slightly more specific, however (i.e. customized to needs or created with a sole end goal in mind), then there are indeed plenty of cost-effective virtual programs out there to be utilized.
Sprinkle Physical Activity in Throughout the Day
In the case your schedule is so compact that you merely can’t afford to dedicate a prolonged period of time to fitness, nestling in bits of movement between differing tasks is a sound way to ensure you complete enough physical activity by the day’s end. Learn the basic forms of various non-strenuous moves such as squats, lunges, planks, push-ups, jumping jacks, crunches, sit-ups, and any other exercise you find fascinating, and briefly engage in them anytime you are changing responsibilities.
Do as many reps of whichever movement you choose for as long as you deem doable, and since these staples are so energy-intensive, even a tiny amount of time spent doing them will benefit your wellbeing greatly. Consciously attempt to incorporate any smidgen of exercise amidst the hysteria of your hectic day-to-day; as while it may seem impossible at first, it will eventually evolve into an automatic habit.
Make Movement-Focused Life Decisions
As opposed to thinking of exercise as strictly reserved for workouts, subtly changing your lifestyle to include increased amounts of physical activity is also an excellent way to amass the plethoric health benefits we’ve been discussing thus far. Spending larger portions of the day on your feet is an informal, yet incredibly effective, method of moving more, and can include easy, stress-free switches such as taking the stairs, parking further away and walking to work.
You can also complete various productive tasks – some of which may already be a part of your grueling daily schedule- in ways that require additional physical effort: cleaning the house, fixing the lawn and running errands, are all activities that can be made more intensive. Similarly, in regards to your existing responsibilities, you can make slight alterations to turn them, too, into forms of exercise: take calls on a walk, do your schoolwork on the treadmill, or chase your kids around the house.
Find Something You Enjoy and Stick with It
The final recommendation I have for incorporating exercise into your bustling schedule is to discover a physical activity that you derive so much joy and catharsis from, that you find yourself motivated to establish it as a pressing priority. There are seemingly endless ways to stay active, and many of them are exceptionally entertaining. Learning to love a certain movement – regardless of if it’s conventionally considered exercise – will inevitably encourage you to be more physically fit in your everyday life.
Fast-paced team sports such as soccer, hockey, baseball and basketball are incredibly exhilarating, while calmer, more solitary sports like golf, tennis, badminton and swimming are known to grant peace of mind. Zumba, salsa, Pilates, and aerobics classes are wonderful ways to socialize while working up a sweat, while independent dance, skating and yoga sessions will give you time to think as well as a burst of energy.
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