With today's technology-focused way of life centered around sitting in front of a computer screen for an average of eight or more hours a day, it's critical to make time to move your body regularly. According to a study from the American College of Cardiology, the more time you spend sedentary, the higher your risk of calcified arteries and atherosclerosis - a risk factor for heart disease. Moving your body is natural and necessary to maintain optimal health, but for many, the thought of taking an hour or so out of the day to exercise can seem nearly impossible. Busy schedules filled with meetings and deadlines can make it difficult to sneak away; however, it is crucial for both your physical and mental health!
Here are some key tips to help you fit exercise into your daily life:
1. Set Goals
You need something to work toward, so pick a few reasonable goals and keep them in mind. Write them down, post them around the house or do what you need to do to keep your goals in clear sight. Stay positive and motivated toward your goals! If your goals seem unreachable, create three to four smaller goals that will lead you in the right direction. For example, if your goal is to lose 15 pounds, commit yourself to cooking all your meals at home during the week, signing up for an exercise class and taking a 20-minute walk during your lunch break each day at work. Continue to set new goals each week until you reach your end result.
2. Find a Program That Interests You
If you go into the gym not knowing what to do, you could be setting yourself up for failure. Join a program, get a coach or research some exercises that you can do safely on your own.
3. Start Small
If you haven't been active for a while, don't throw yourself into a program that your body can't handle. Start slow and build up to more advanced workouts little by little. This can be done by going for a 15-30-minute walk in the middle of the day to get you away from work and moving your body. You can also experiment with intervals where you walk fast for 40 seconds, walk casually for 20 seconds and repeat to get your heart rate up. Try this for 15 minutes and slowly build up from there. Whatever your end goal, start small and progress gradually to make it maintainable in the long term.
4. Set Reminders for Yourself
Use your work calendar, mobile phone or alarm clock to set reminders to get up from what you are doing and move your body throughout the day. Sitting for long periods of time on a regular basis can take a major toll on your body. Since your muscles are burning less fat and your blood is flowing slower while sedentary, it makes it easier for fatty acids to clog the heart. This can contribute to an increased risk of high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels and even cardiovascular disease. Get up, walk around, perform a couple squats or even some pushups, and your body will thank you.
5. Enlist a Workout Partner
It's always easier to stay consistent and motivated when you have a friend to hold you accountable. Organize a group at work to schedule walks or grab a friend with whom you can join a new fitness program. Encourage one another and push each other to stay committed, and you will find it much easier to maintain your regimen.
Fitting in exercise into your daily life might seem impossible, but it's essential to maintaining the health of your vital organs, like your heart! Moving your body is natural, and comes with so many physical and mental benefits, so try out these tips to help fit exercise into your daily schedule!