[Photo by Chris Hunkeler]
The two most common things that people wish they had more of are time and money. The next thing that people wish for more of is energy.
Before I resigned from teaching, I was also operating an outdoor group fitness and personal training business. I was busy with clients six mornings a week, teaching throughout the middle of the day and busy with clients again in the afternoons and into the evening. There was very little time to do any of my own exercise. I would squeeze in exercise here and there, usually by joining in on some of the exercise classes I was conducting.
As I wasn’t dedicating time to my own health and fitness, I knew I wasn’t leading by example. I have always been an active person. As a child, I was either playing structured sport of some kind or in the outdoors doing something active. When I resigned, I knew I needed to prioritise exercise much more than I was. I began to schedule time for running, strength training and stretching and the impact was immediate.
I have always enjoyed running, so I knew that would be the easiest for me to start doing again. When I began doing strength building exercises, I started to feel strong again. But the biggest change came from the stretching. The only stretching I might have previously done was a couple of stretches at the start or finish of a run or strength session. The benefits were immediate. I began to feel great and the more I stretched, the better I felt.
How you can incorporate exercise into your day
These are the most effective ways I've found to fit important exercise into your life.
- Schedule cardiovascular exercise into your calendar 3 times per week. Go for a run, walk, swim or bike ride.
- Schedule strength exercise into your calendar 3 times per week. Join a boot camp, gym class, or Pilates class.
- Schedule time to stretch each morning and evening.
- Join a Yoga class once per week.
- If you can, get a stand up desk.
- Look for every opportunity to move more. There are heaps of opportunities to move during common daily tasks, even at work.
Make sure you schedule these activities into your calendar. It dramatically increases the likelihood that you will follow through.
Why is movement and exercise so important?
Our bodies are designed to move. When we spend the majority of our week in a seated position, our bodies begin to ache and the chances of developing lifestyle diseases dramatically increases.
In the days of hunting and gathering, we would get cardiovascular exercise in the form of walking, jogging, running and even swimming. We would get strength from all the activities that go with an active, outdoor lifestyle. We wouldn’t spend the majority of our days sitting in a chair. Nowadays however, we move from the office chair, to the car seat, to the couch. It’s a big difference from the way we were designed to live.
What will you do each week so you can move more and be more productive? Let me know in the comments below.
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