Sneak in Exercise?

This morning I was reading a blog,Vitamin G that my friend Maridel Reyes, a brilliant writer and health expert, recently took over. She was talking about a very real dilemma that many of us “health focused” folks face. There are times when we simply can’t do what we are used to doing: exercise during busy times in our lives.

Maridel gives tips for her active readers who have everything but time. From sneaking in calf raises while brushing her teeth, to squeezing in some lunges on her portable yoga mat, late into the evening. The more I started thinking about squeezing in or sneaking in exercise, the more I realized that exercise starts in the brain before it travels to the body.

Skipping my exercise routine might not cause me to gain weight immediately, but it certainly does disrupt my mind, my peace of mind that I am doing some much needed stress relief – a necessity for my body and long-term health.

While movement is essential for the body, I’ve found that the key to keeping in shape has more to do with momentum than intense, infrequent work-outs. Keeping your mindset in the zone of exercising on a regular basis, keeps the momentum of your new program going. Exercise will feel less like a chore and more like a natural, everyday part of your schedule, say like brushing your teeth with or with out calf lifts, that is! So here are five simple ways to keep the momentum going, even when you don’t have time to do your complete exercise routine. Sneak it in:

1. Combine exercise with an errand you have to run.

Pardon the pun! If I know that I have to make that trip across town to the bank, I switch into my tennies and literally run to the bank. That 15-minute run will not only increase my heart rate and give me some cardio but it’s also a great way to “check in” with my body and see if my other forms of exercise are building the strength I need to take a short sprint.

2. Exercise while catching up with a friend.

I’m not much for chit-chat on the phone, but once a month when I want to catch up with gal pals who live out-of-state and overseas, I pop on my ear piece for the phone and chat while I talk a brisk walk.

3. Create your own mini-exercise routine.

Create your own mini-exercise routine that doesn’t require special clothing or equipment. Yoga and pilates are ideal for this. When I have to travel for work, I know that I can do my routine in any small hotel room in my PJ’s first thing in the morning or right before bed. No mat necessary.

4. Make your exercise routine part of your job.

Like many professionals, I believe that volunteer work is part of my job and an important learning experience. So I teach yoga as part of my volunteer efforts which covers one day a week in my own exercise routine and happens to be a lot of fun!

5. Cook healthy meals for yourself.

This will not only help to keep you trim or lose weight, but walking to your local store (if you can), carrying groceries, and whisking about your kitchen are also calorie burners!

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