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5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise

5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise

We all know that exercise is important – vital, in fact. Yet, one of the most common excuses for not exercising enough is “I can’t find time for exercise.”

And it’s true. It is hard to find time for exercise. Just like it’s hard to find time to meditate, cook healthy meals, and volunteer to make your community a better place.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA) provides the following minimum exercise guidelines for healthy adults (18-65):

  • Moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes, five days per week (e.g. a brisk walk) or;
  • Vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity for 20 minutes, three days per week (e.g. jogging) or;
  • Some combination of moderate-intensity and vigorous-intensity
  • NOTE: Exercise can be performed in bouts of at least 10 minutes.

That’s not bad. In fact, it’s pretty achievable. So let’s move on to the challenging (but fun) part: Finding time for exercise.

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1. Turn off the TV

This is usually a good place to start. In 2010, the average American watched 34 hours of TV per week. If you do the math, you could still watch 30 hours of TV and get all your exercise in (including a shower afterwards, which is typically appreciated by your colleagues/family members).

And if you’ve already whittled your TV watching down to just one or two favorite shows per week, consider exercising while you watch.

If you’d like to remove TV completely from your life and go crazy with exercise, check out this step-by-step article on the topic.

2. Limit Your Time Online

If we’re not watching TV, we’re surfing the Internet, checking email, updating Facebook, tweeting, or pinning. According to comScore, the average American spent 32 hours per month online in 2010 (sounds low to me!).

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That’s over 60 minutes per day, some of which could be devoted to moving your body rather than letting it waste away in front of a screen.

Becoming more efficient with your online dealings is a great way to cut down on the time spent online. Lifehack Managing Editor Mike Vardy recently wrote a great article about the real problem with email. It’s not about the technology. It’s about improper use of the technology. You will be amazed by the amount of time you will save if you check your email only once or twice per day.

3. Ask for Help

I don’t want to assume that you are a couch potato or an Internet addict. Perhaps you simply have your hands full with work, laundry, kids, community commitments, and all the other things that make up our plate of life.

If you are serious about finding time for exercise, ask for help. Maybe you just need somebody to watch the kids for an hour while you hit the gym. Ask your spouse, your mom, your friend, the teenager next door – anybody who can help you find that time. Also, if you have the money, hire somebody to clean your house. That frees up significant time (at least if you’re a clean freak like me).

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4. Find Pockets of Time for Exercise

If your eyes didn’t completely gloss over when you read the ACSM/AHA recommendations above, you may have noticed that you can exercise in “bouts of at least 10 minutes.”

This means that you could go for a brisk 10-minute walk after breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Not only will you feel refreshed, but it also helps with digestion!

I often find myself with 10 minutes to spare, so I have a mental list of things that can be completed in that amount of time. If you have your own 10-minute activity list, just add exercise to it.

5. Combine Exercise and Transportation

In many parts of the world, this is an obvious one. However, sometimes it’s easy to forget that getting from Point A to Point B can be a wonderful opportunity to exercise. Here are some options:

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  • Bike or walk to work/school
  • Bike to the grocery store
  • Walk over to a friend’s house
  • Walk to your place of worship
  • Walk or bike to the coffee shop

As long as it’s at least 10 minutes and getting your heart rate up, it’s exercise!

How do you find time for exercise? Share your tips in the comments.

(Photo: “Photonut” at RGBStock.com.)

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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