One of the best ways to incorporate fitness into your daily routine is to make it fun. The goal should be to have it become as much a part of your day-to-day life as brushing your teeth.
Intermittent exercise can be as effective as a full consecutive 30-minute workout, according to the American Heart Association. As long as you exert the same amount of energy, it shouldn’t matter whether you divide your workout into short sessions throughout the day or complete it all at once.
Here are some tips for working extra activity into your everyday routine:
- Go for daily walks. Daily walks can be a great time to touch base with your family without being interrupted by the phone or TV. Not only will you grow closer from that bonding time, but everyone’s health will reap the rewards. If you need a break from the chaos of day-to-day life, go for a walk alone or with the dog. For maximum benefit, walk briskly for at least 20 minutes.
- Exercise while watching TV. If you have a treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike, use it while you watch TV instead of sitting on the couch. Occupying your mind with your favorite show or movie can help make your exercise time go by faster. Or, use your TV time for some stretches, crunches, or other floor exercises. Anything you can do to keep your body moving will be beneficial.
- Play with your kids. Kids are always up for an adventure, and physical activity is just as good for them as it is for you. Have a kid-friendly dance party, build a snowman, rake leaf piles, or run under the sprinkler together. Or, even challenge them to a race around the perimeter of your house or yard. If your child is at soccer practice, take the opportunity to walk a few laps around the field while you watch.
- If you take public transportation to work, try getting off one stop earlier and walking the rest of the way. Or, park your car farther away and walk to your office or worksite.
- Use daily tasks to stay fit. If you need to mow the lawn, use a push mower. When talking on the phone, pace around the house or yard. Wash your car, garden … the possibilities are endless.
- If you are heading to the mall or supermarket, park at the opposite end from where you need to go and walk. Also, use the stairs rather than the elevator or escalator.
- Lots of people blame their lack of exercise on not having enough time. Thanks to myriad fitness apps that you can download to your smartphone or tablet, you can fit in a great workout in just a few minutes. Getting up just 10 minutes earlier each morning to exercise is a good start. If you have a hard time dragging yourself out of bed, try setting goals and then rewarding yourself when you reach them. For example, if you exercise every morning for one month, splurge on a new book or pair of shoes that you’ve been eyeing. Whatever your goal, give yourself an incentive to help you stick with it.
Use CDPHP® InMotionSM to begin a workout routine
Perhaps you have the time and the motivation, but you’re not quite sure how to effectively create a workout routine. One way is with CDPHP InMotion. Using this app, you can set your own goals and choose a workout that’s appropriate and attainable for you. InMotion gives you options for how many times per week you aim to work out, how far you would like to go, increments for increasing your pace, and incentives.
Once you’ve customized your exercise plan, use InMotion’s dashboard to log your workouts and food intake and create routes for walking, jogging, or biking. Even better – you can use InMotion’s friend finder to see which Facebook, Twitter, or address book connections are exercising, too! A little friendly competition can go a long way toward going that extra mile.
Only you can motivate yourself toward better fitness. These suggestions, along with other opportunities for increased activity that you can find in your daily routine, can help you achieve a healthier lifestyle. The key is to find an enjoyable way to work physical activity into your day. If you can make it a habit to do even one of these things on a daily basis, after a while, it will become second nature, and you will have made a positive step to better health.