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8 Ways To Sneak Exercise Into Our Craziest Days

By on 06/11/2016
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As a health coach, business owner, wellness contributor, and mother of eight kids, I’m often asked how I incorporate exercise into an already insanely long day. Here are some things I’ve learned over the years:

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Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/e4mXqs

1. Moving Makes Me Less Tired.

It seems a little counter-intuitive, but even a quick spin on the stationary bike, a dash up our household stairs, or a walk around the cul-de-sac perks me up. There’s plenty of medical research that supports this, but nothing speaks louder than experience. Try it for yourself. Move your body and see how you feel! When we make time to move, our whole day shifts. We are more focused, steadier, and much more energetic.

2. A Little Exercise Five Days A Week Is Better Than A Lot Of Exercise Two Days A Week.

Exercise doesn’t just burn fat, it jogs our memory (no pun intended). Even ten minutes of aerobic movement or weight training can change the way we eat all day. It also reawakens us to other daily health goals, like drinking more water and breathing more deeply. So, it’s important for us to get moving everyday. If you’re just starting out, try committing to ten minutes of movement per day. Build up from there. There’s no minimum-it all counts for something. And that something can simply be an unexpected experience of joy and release, a rebirth of discipline, or a new tenderness towards yourself.

3. Scheduling Exercise Is The Only Way It Gets Done.

I learned, all too recently, that I have to schedule everything: showers, cooking, social media time, article writing, correspondence with clients, and my workouts. I know the unpredictable will get in the way. In fact, with eight kids there is little predictability at all! By creating space for fitness, we have a better chance at showing up and no excuse for double-booking.

4. Snazzy Sneakers Do Help.

I never knew this until I picked up some rockin’ hot-orange sneakers for half price. Just tying those babies makes me want to move! Buy sneakers that get your heart pumping before you even stand up. This goes for workout clothes, as well!

5. Keep An Extra Set Of Gear.

I also have a spare set of sneakers and clean socks in my trunk. With kids in after-school lessons, there’s always a parking lot to power-walk around. This is the perfect way to give ourselves fresh air and a much needed ‘reset’ in the early afternoon.

6. The “Shut Up And Show Up” Workouts Are Always The Best Ones.

There are times I can very well justify not going to the gym. We all have those days. But when I insist on getting there, those are the workouts that really rock. Somehow, that mental leap usually leads to a physical leap. If we turn down the voices and just show up, great things can happen. Trust this. Like everything else in life, we never regret showing up.

7. Make A ‘Minimal Sitting’ Rule.

We sit enough, don’t we! Making an effort to limit sitting time is critical for overall health. We now know that sitting for over four hours a day robs us of our vitality, and even compresses our digestive system. Take the stairs whenever you can, at work and at home. Be happy, instead of frustrated, by those inconveniences that make you move, like forgetting your sweater upstairs or getting the furthest parking spot.

8. Associate Movement With Relaxation Time.

Make a mental shift to link relaxation-time with movement. Often, we perceive them as opposed. When we connect them as part of the same “state of being,” we are rewarded with a healthier, happier body. If I happen to get in front of the TV at night, I sit on an exercise ball, do some stretches, or even get on the elliptical machine for a low-key jaunt in my socks and jeans. It’s an easy way to get some blood pumping and boost my mood before bedtime without disrupting my sleep. It’s also an effective way to ward off those nighttime munchies.

Tara Sareen
Tara is a Certified Health Coach for mothers in the Greater Boston Area. She lives with her husband and eight children. As the founder of iCrave Coaching, Tara coordinates her clients' wellness goals around nutrition, weight loss, appropriate physical activity and stress management. Find her at http://www.iCraveCoaching.com and on Facebook at iCrave Coaching.
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