Several weeks ago I did a blog about the health benefits of regular exercise for women over 50. You can access it here.
I don’t think too many people would argue that exercise isn’t an important part of living a truly healthy, vibrant life. But so many women I talk to and work with seem to struggle with making exercise a priority and fitting it into their busy schedules.
All too often we think unless we spend at an hour or two a day at the gym, get sweaty and sore, we are not “exercising.” Many inactive women seem to consider this to be the only type of exercise that will be worthwhile doing and yet they don’t want to spend any free time they may have in an already packed schedule doing this. Honestly, I don’t blame them!
What if it all comes down to a shift in mindset? Instead of feeling pressured to spend a large chunk of your day doing something you have already decided sounds exhausting and then feeling like a failure if you don’t follow through, what if you could fit small chunks of higher intensity exercise into your day and just moving more to achieve improved fitness goals?
I always recommend scheduling your exercise session into the first part of the day because then at least you’ve done it and the rest of the day won’t mess up your plan. I typically do a 10 minute HIIT workout first thing, before I eat, so I do it fasted for more fat burning, and then shower, have my coffee and start my day! I think unless you have a newborn, toddler or very small children at home or a very long, early commute, almost all of us can fit a 10 minute workout into the morning.
Then if you just add some intentional activity into your day (as I suggest in Today is Still the Day) like taking a walk at lunchtime, using the stairs instead of the elevator, parking further away, doing 20 squats or lunges on bathroom breaks, you’d be surprised how that intentional activity adds up – painlessly! Set a timer for 30-45 minutes and get up and move no matter how little you do! It all counts.
By adding in some shorter workouts throughout the day, you begin to see how exercise actually can fit into your schedule and how it helps you work toward your goals for fitness, overall health, stress relief and relaxation. Also adding in activities you enjoy when you have more time, whether that’s hiking, swimming, roller skating, dancing, or whatever, keeps things fresh and fun. Exercise is more than aerobics and weight training! In fact, just renaming it activity or movement, gives you a whole new perspective!
Perhaps by broadening your definition of “exercise” and being willing to try a different way, you will be pleasantly surprised at how many benefits you will reap.
Do you intentionally include exercise in your day or find it difficult to do so? Do you think a change in perspective would help?
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