“I don’t have time to exercise” must be the most common excuse in the book. If it’s your excuse, it might be time for a rethink. At first glance, it seems true. It seems impossible to fit exercise into a day already stuffed to the seams.
Yet, scattered throughout your day, there are little pockets of time, ready-made for exercise. Not exercise in leotards. Not exercise in the gym. But exercise all the same.
“Why would I want to fill what few precious moments I do have?” you might ask. Because if you fill them with exercise, it will not only make you feel virtuous, it will lift your spirits, give you more energy, burn fat, tone muscle and make you much more present in your body. Plus, it becomes kind of fun to see how much exercise you can sneak into your everyday life.
- 1. Ever find yourself on the phone waiting for a real person to answer? Improve the shining hour with Kegel—or pelvic floor—exercises. See how many you can do before someone says, “May I help you?” (Experts say we should aim for 200 a day.)
- 2. Ever find yourself stuck in traffic? Do a few glut lifts. Squeeze your buttocks so they lift you up from your seat and then release. Repeat until the lights change. The man in the car beside you may wonder what’s going on, but you’ll end up with a great ass.
- 3. Ever find yourself standing in a queue? Here’s your opportunity to work your lower body and improve your balance. Take a breath in, contract your stomach muscles, pull up on your pelvic floor, tighten your inner thigh muscles and slowly raise yourself onto your toes. It helps balance to focus on a stationary point at eye level. Breathe. Slowly lower your heels to the ground. Repeat until you get to the cashier.
- 4. Ever find yourself waiting for a slow download? Perfect time to stand tall, clasp your hands behind your back, bend forward, raising your arms up behind your towards the ceiling. It’s a lovely stretch after working on a computer. Still waiting? Release your neck muscles with some neck rolls.
- 5. Ever wonder what you’re doing in the office when the sun’s shining? Take an early lunch and go for a walk … around the block, down to the park or, better yet, up the nearest hill.
- 6. Ever find yourself picking toys or discarded clothes off the floor? Here’s your chance to slip in some squat lifts. Feet apart, knees bent, engage your abs to protect your lower back and use your thigh muscles to lower and lift your body. This is great for getting your heart rate up as well as working your lower body.
- 7. Ever find yourself watching the kettle boil? A few standing push ups against the kitchen bench and the kettle will be singing in no time.
- 8. Ever find yourself lying in bed wide-awake? Strengthen your core while you wait for sleep. Take a breath in and exhale drawing your navel towards your spine. Repeat. Take it up a notch by keeping your abs contracted on the inhale as well as the exhale. Work harder still by incorporating pelvic floor exercises.
- 9. Ever find yourself stuck in an elevator? You have? What were you doing in an elevator? Why weren’t you taking the stairs? Geez, haven’t you learned anything?
Seriously, take every opportunity to exercise … however small. Small moments add up. And your body will respond with gratitude by burning fat, toning muscles and generally making you feel more alive, more energetic and more present.
About the Author
Meg McCready Meg works behind-the-scenes at Healing Connections, taking care of our website, our FB page and our newsletter amongst other things.