Make Time for Fitness

Make fitness a priority. It not only makes you look better, but also feel better

ExercisingFitness trainers could probably write their own little book, "Why I Cannot Make it to the Exercise Class", because of the amount of excuses we hear from people who wish to do exercise, or are "wannabe" exercisers. I have yet to meet a person who does not say "I aspire to have better shape, or improve my fitness levels", followed by, "But, I don't have the time."

Here are a few of suggestions that will ensure that exercise becomes a part of your life starting today, provided you are "game" to the idea.

Get to the bottom of it. Is it really that you don't have time to exercise, or is it just an excuse? Or, do you just need to get a little more organised so you can fit it into your schedule? Many of our time management problems can be solved if we simply try to wake up 15 minutes earlier than we normally do. Try it; it may work.

Ask yourself if you currently feel the need to exercise. Are you planning on exercising because your wife/husband thinks you should? Or, is it because you feel that you should be getting more exercise? Start with a fitness regime when you feel the need, and when you really feel that you should, not when someone else thinks so, or you will keep making excuses to avoid it.

Short work-outs work too. When thinking about an exercise routine, most people think they need to dedicate several hours in a day to the gym in order to get fit. However, quite the opposite is true. You can power-walk for 20 minutes as a cardio work-out. A gym work-out for 20 minutes 5-6 times a week also gives good results. Options for gym work-out include splitting it into upper body and lower body exercises on separate days.

Combine exercise with something you do make time for. Admit it, you never find time to exercise because you simply do not enjoy doing it, or have not yet found a way to enjoy it.

Otherwise, how is it that you have the time to talk to your friends on the phone, or even go out with them 2-3 times a week for several hours? If you like watching a particular sitcom which spans over 30 minutes or more, or even if you are watching a movie on DVD, just shift your treadmill or stationary bike to the room with TV and make it a point to combine your dull cardio routine with your movie, or TV show, and you will be both entertained and fit!

When committing time to exercise choose a "good time." Don't start your exercise routine on the wrong note by choosing a time when you know you will not be able to make it. If you are a late riser, choosing a 6 am exercise schedule guarantees that you will not be in attendance most of the time. So, be realistic.

Concentrate on what you can do. Don't get caught in the trap of "how much exercise is ideal." Instead, stick to how much you can do. If it is just 20-30 minutes you have daily, it is better than doing no exercise at all!

You can do these exercises anytime and anywhere by just investing in therabands at any sports shop. You can do this work-out, four days a week on alternate days, i.e., upper body on one day, and lower body the next, and you can do your abs three times a week on alternate days.

20-minute upper body routine [using a theraband]

Warm-up, by marching on the spot for two minutes.

  • Wall push ups 15 x 2Palms on the wall, feet together, push yourself towards and away from the wall, using your chest muscles.
  • Rowing 15 x 2Sit on the floor with the theraband around your feet and wrapped around your palms and pull towards and away from you using your back muscles.
  • Bicep curls 15 x 2Keeping the theraband under your feet, wrap the free ends around both palms and lift gradually, bending at the elbows like you do for a bicep curl with dumbbells.
  • Tricep extension 15 x 2Tie the theraband to a door handle or any other support bhind you. Grip the other end of the band with both your hands and lift and lower your forearms behind your head.
  • Lateral shoulder raise 15 x 2Stand straight, keeping your arms straight, wrap the ends of the band around your palms and pull one at a time away from your body up to your waist.

20-minute leg work-out

Warm up, by marching on the spot for two minutes.

  • Straight leg lifts, 20 x 3 each leg: Lie on your side on the floor, lift and lower one leg gradually without allowing it to touch the other leg till the end of the set
  • Doggy kick 20 x 3: Go down on all fours and then lower your upper body by bending your elbows. Lift and lower one leg without touching the floor till the end of the set.
  • Calf raises 15 x 2

Always remember, doing even 10-20 minutes of exercise daily can have tremendous health benefits. Not only will exercise make you look better, it will make you feel better, too. If after reading this, you still need some goading to exercise, remember - if you don't use it, you lose it!

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Samreedhi Goel
Samreedhi Goel is a Nutritionist and Personal trainer & fitness columnist who has been a part of the fitness industry since 1999. She has helped hundreds of people shape up, lose weight, achieve the body of their dreams, become fitter and healthier individuals and overcome chronic health problems through her fitness studio Size Wise.Her fitness columns and interviews appear on a regular basis in prestigious publications like Complete Wellbeing, Sunday Midday, Rediff.com, Seventeen India, Mumbai.

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