It's easy to make excuses for not exercising. "I don't have time to go the gym" is the commonest one. But it's also easy to create some extra time and modify your lifestyle, if you really want to exercise.
You don't need to spend hours at the gym; a fitness routine can be paced according to your convenience and requirement.
Short workouts throughout the day are as effective at burning away unwanted calories as long workouts. Just make them intense, get your heart rate up, and repeat whenever you have 10 – 15 minutes to spare.
It doesn't matter which physical activity you engage in—it may be the good old bend and stretch, aerobics, swimming, running, cycling or just playing a sport. You can indulge in weight training to strengthen your muscles or do yoga to tone your body and relax your mind.
Weave in essential exercises into your daily activities. Some ideas:
- Play with children, lift them, or carry them piggyback.
- Take the stairs whenever possible.
- Use vigorous movements while taking a bath or rubbing yourself dry. This stimulates the body and acts as flexibility exercise.
- Wake up just 10 minutes early and do spot jogging.
- Wear your socks and shoes in a standing position.
Here's how you can keep burning your calories at office:
- Fetch and deliver your own files.
- Instead of speaking over the intercom with your colleagues, walk up to their desks. Walk briskly when you move about.
- Swing your arms, and slowly rotate your neck clockwise and anti-clockwise five times. Move your head up, down, and sideways.
- Shrug your shoulders and hold the position for a few seconds; repeat whenever possible.
- Intertwine your fingers and stretch your hands above your head as much as possible. Again, hold for a few seconds.
- Stretch each leg whenever possible. Hold for a few seconds.
These are just a few ideas that will help you inculcate exercise into your daily routine.
People are averse to the word 'exercise'. They don't realise that it's not a competition. In fact, it does a world of good to your body.
For your effort, you will be rewarded with a sharper memory, stronger bones, better metabolism and a healthier body. Your muscles will get toned, and you may gradually even lose your paunch. The best part: you will feel fresh and have high energy levels throughout the day.
With inputs from Nikhil Chatterjee
This was first published in the November 2010 issue of Complete Wellbeing.
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