5 Secrets to “Make” Time for Exercise

Oh, that elusive time!

MAKE time for exercise!
MAKE time for exercise!

It’s a complaint I hear so often from Baby Boomers and seniors that I decided to update a blog I did last year addressing this problem: I just can’t find the time to exercise!

Between jobs, social commitments and caring for parents or grandchildren, we all know we need more physical activity, but have difficulty fitting it into our days.

The truth is, we’ll never “find” time for exercise. We have to “make” the time, because life will always get in the way, casting off our best intentions!

If you’re a frequent visitor to my website, you know that health authorities recommend 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per week. That translates to 30 minutes, five days a week, each and every week. To many, this prescription sounds daunting, but it needn’t be.

In fact, the most current research stresses the importance of movement throughout the day. We now know that six hours of sitting negates the benefits of one hour of exercise!

No more excuses!

So here are 5 secrets for making time to exercise:

1) Put it on your calendar.
You “calendar” your meetings, your manicures, your phone conferences, so why not give exercise the same consideration? Commit to a specific day and time, record the appointment in a spot you’ll see on a regular basis, and schedule reminders as needed.

2) Exercise with a buddy.
Having a support system is one of the biggest predictors of successful behavior change. So plan to be active with a friend or family member. You’ll coax each other along, and neither of you will want to let the other down.

3) You don’t need a 30-minute block of time.
Good news! You can break your physical activity into 10- or 15-minute increments. So no more excuses—if you’re working, you have two 10-minute breaks every day! Keep your tennies under your desk, and walk instead of sitting or eating. Then look for a few minutes in the morning or evening to eek out other mini-exercise breaks.

4) Even better–just concentrate on moving throughout the day!
Get off your derriere and move! Invest in, and use, a pedometer or activity tracker. These little devices will help you track your activity in the form of steps; some will even remind you to get active if you’ve been sitting for an hour! Aim for 10,000 steps per day…start wherever your current level is, and gradually add steps until you reach your goal.

5) HIIT the road!
High intensity interval training (HIIT) involves alternating periods of relatively intense bursts of exercise with light exercise or rest. Research shows that you can receive the benefits of activity with about half the time. So a super-efficient 15-minute HIIT work out is equivalent to 30 minutes of cardio.

HIIT burns calories, strengthens your heart, and lowers blood sugar.

Before starting any exercise program, be sure to be medically cleared. Then try this beginning HIIT program:
• Warm up with 3 – 5 minutes of comfortable walking.
• Begin your interval: walk as quickly as possible for 15 seconds; then slow way down for a minute.
• Repeat 5 times.
• Cool down with 3 – 5 minutes of slow walking.

Take control!

So don’t sitting around waiting for exercise time to fall in your lap (it’s not going to happen). Use these strategies to get more movement in your life!

How do you make time to exercise in your busy life?

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