Our lives are full. In the new era of having our smart phones with us 24/7, increased work demands due to the economy, competitive parenting and little free time, how are we expected to find 30 minutes a day to get exercise? It’s not easy, but our bodies are craving it.
The American Heart Association reports that getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week prevents the development of coronary artery disease. There is also evidence that exercise reduces the risk of other chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, depression, breast cancer and colon cancer.
So, we know we SHOULD get physical activity, and it is justifiable to feel as though we are too busy due to so many demands. It’s not easy to find 30 minutes, but think of it as YOUR 30 minutes every day. Movement allows you to clear your head, getting outside gives your perspective and you’ll not only feel better, you will sleep better and be able to enjoy your retirement that much more.
Let’s take the working mom: She tries to get eight hours of sleep, works eight hours with transportation up to an hour each way, the kids need supervision from 6-8am, and then again from 5-8pm. When can she fit in her 30 minutes? A few options:
a. Get the kids involved – depending on the age of child(ren) involve them
b. Wake up earlier – set the alarm and sneak in some ‘me’ time before they wake
c. Unwind – after the kids go to bed, do crunches, yoga, etc. while you digest the day
Or, the R.N. that works late shifts: he sleeps during the day, and wakes when the sun is just going down. Here are some options:
- Walk to work/get off a few bus stops ahead of where you need to go/park further away so that you can walk into your shift feeling refreshed
- Or save up for a piece of gently used home gym equipment
Now, how about the busy executive? She has meetings from 7am-7pm and has to prep for the next day from 9-11pm.
- Hit the gym to unwind before heading home to avoid rush hour
- Implement walking meetings when you don’t have to be glued to your laptop
- Walk to get lunch
- Schedule meetings with yourself to fit in workouts
Remember step away from the computer and schedule some time for yourself.