Fitting Activity into a Busy Lifestyle – UnDieting Divas Meeting #2

Our second meeting took place last Tuesday, and once again Mother Nature smiled upon us – the weather was great and we even got to take a 30 minute walk at the end!  Thanks to everyone who participated in our great discussion.

After some brief introductions, we dove right into the meeting topic – fitting activity into a busy lifestyle.  Here’s a summary of the discussion:

We’re all busy and sometimes it can be tough to find time to exercise, even though we know it’s important!  There are lots of reasons -

  • Working long hours
  • Long commute
  • Family time
  • Getting kids to and from daycare and activities
  • Work-related travel
  • Keeping in touch with friends
  • Other important activities

Finding time for 30 minutes to workout can be challenging enough, but if you need to drive to the gym, and wait for a machine to open up, suddenly your 30 minute workout has eaten up an hour of your day!  And sometimes finding an hour for a workout means getting up at 5am, or going to the gym at 10pm – which isn’t always easy.

The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association agree that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity (equivalent to a brisk walk), 5 days per week, is enough for heart health.  And that time can be broken up into as little as 10 minute segments without losing any of the benefits!  Read on for some ideas on how to meet the minimum recommendations even when it seems like your schedule is working against you.

Travelling:

If your hotel has a gym, you’re all set!  But if it doesn’t (or if you’d prefer to work out in the privacy of your own room or outdoors) here are some suggestions that won’t add extra bulk to your suitcase:

  • Pack a workout DVD in your laptop bag.  You can play it on your laptop if the hotel doesn’t have DVD players.
  • Stuff a stretchy workout band (you can pick them up at Target for a few bucks) inside one of your sneakers – here’s a workout routine that you can do with one band and a desk chair: http://www.acefitness.org/getfit/rubrbndwkout.pdf
  • Check with the concierge for a local map and some walking trails.  If you have a couple of hours free, walking a new city is the best way to learn about it!
  • Hit the stairs!!!!!  If your hotel has more than one floor, you’ve got a serious cardio workout waiting for you just down the hall.  Warm up by walking briskly up and down the hall, then run up a few flights.  Catch your breath on whatever floor you’re on by walking briskly to one end and back, then do another few flights of stairs (if the hotel only has a couple of floors, catch your breath by walking down the stairs).  Keep this up for 30 minutes and you’ve just gotten a great workout!
  • Go to the local mall and power walk while you window-shop.

Too much to do around the house to get in a workout?  Do both!

  • You can easily make cleaning activities aerobic – run up a flight of stairs every couple minutes between tasks, push the vacuum cleaner while doing walking lunges, see how fast you can run around the bed while changing the sheets, wash the windows without a stepladder (i.e., jump in the air to get the very top parts), do squats while folding laundry…you get the picture.  If you have kids, make a game of it!  You’ll have a clean house, tired kids, and your workout will be complete!
  • Cut the lawn, weed the garden, rake leaves, shovel snow.  All of these activities require strength and cardio fitness and qualify as a great workout!
  • Walk the dog – he needs exercise as much as you do!
  • Wash & vacuum the car…by hand

Stuck at work all day without a break?  Try these ideas: 

http://www.standupandeat.org/index.aspx?id=workingworkout

www.squeezeitin.com

Family time

  • Make an obstacle course in the backyard – here are some great ideas using household items: http://simplekids.net/make-your-own-backyard-obstacle-course/
  • Play tag with the kids!
  • If your family loves video games, think about getting a Wii.  The first time I played Wii tennis with my husband for a half-hour, I was sore for 2 days afterwards!  The Wii Fit adds even more activities and gives you the opportunity to track your progress.
  • Teenagers want to go shopping?  Drop them at the mall and then power walk either indoors or out while they shop!
  • Waiting to pick someone up from school, or watching a soccer game? Keep a pair of walking shoes in the trunk of your car. You may be able to walk while waiting to drive children home from their activities.
  • Active family activities.  Make a list of ideas with your family, then post it on the fridge for when someone says ‘I’m BORED’.  Here’s a few thoughts to get you started:

Go bowling - Plant a garden - Go roller skating - Go ice skating - Rent a canoe - Go for a swim - Rent bikes - Take a hike - Go camping - Pedal a paddleboat - Go square dancing - Rake leaves - Scavenger hunt in your yard - Jump rope - Play Frisbee - See who can hula hoop the longest - Play tag - Create a family dance routine - Build a snowman or snow fort - Have a snowball fight! - Visit an amusement park or zoo - Walk the dog, your neighbor’s dog or a pound dog

Keeping in touch with friends:

  • Local girlfriends?  Schedule workouts together instead of (or before) girl’s night
  • Long distance pals?  Walk while you talk on the phone – either around the neighborhood, backyard, or pacing around the house.  Better yet – schedule your phone chat so you can both go for a walk at the same time!

Get the picture?  A big part of fitting activity into a busy life is to make it a lifestyle – if you think of ways to stay on your feet & stay moving while you’re doing other things you’ll find it’s easy to keep moving and use your body while you’re getting other things done.

And the quote of the week is from the SqueezeItIn.com website:

Let life be your workout!

Our next meeting is Tuesday, August 30th at 6pm – hope to see you there!

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