Life is busy, and more often than not, it’s downright chaotic, and self-care like exercising is the last thing on your mind. You want to get started so that you feel better, but you just can’t seem to see where to fit it into your day. Between going to work, taking the kids to school, music lessons, and sports practices, religious functions, and household chores, your life is hectic.
So, how are you going to find time to exercise and go to the gym or workout at home? You’re not. You’re going to make time and commit to exercising on a regular basis. Wherever you decide to exercise, the key is to just “do it.”
Maybe you enjoy the social boost you receive while you exercise at the gym and find that socializing motivates you to workout. The social interaction also helps your time pass quickly, and it doesn’t seem like you’re there so long. On the other hand, maybe you prefer listening to music, or watching your favorite TV program and want to work out in the privacy of your own home.
According to WebMD.com (https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exerice/features/no-gym-required-how-to-get-fit-at-home#1), there are five fitness elements that you should include in your exercise routine:
- A Warmup – Walking/jogging in place or on a treadmill is an excellent warmup exercise, so is riding your stationary bike for 5-10 minutes. The purpose of the warmup is to warm up the body and muscles to avoid injury while you work out.
- Cardiovascular Exercises – Running and speed walking, in addition to swimming or aerobics are excellent cardiovascular exercises. Jumping rope is also a good workout for your cardiovascular system. These are important because it increases your heart rate which delivers necessary oxygen to your muscles, as well as your brain.
- Resistance Training/Strength Training – Even if you don’t have weights, you do have gravity and your weight that is a natural resistance. Some resistance exercises are anything that includes your bodyweight, like sit-ups or crunches, pushups, lunges, or squats. There are endless possibilities here. As your strength improves, you may want to add resistance bands, dumbbells, or kettlebells to your routine. Kettlebells are excellent because they use multiple muscle groups at once and they force the body to balance itself, which uses your core. For some of these exercises, check out Greg Brookes website (https://kettlebellsworkouts.com/blog/). This site is packed with information and performance tips!
- Flexibility Exercises – Yoga is an excellent way to improve your flexibility. Stretches are also a great way to target this area of your workout routine. Some of the stretches may include neck rolls, sitting with your legs crossed, and shoulder/arm rolls.
- A Cooldown – The cooldown can be the warmup repeated over again. The purpose of the cooldown is to help your heart return to its normal Remember to walk, bike, or jog at a moderate to slow pace to accomplish this.
Some other workout tips are:
- Evaluate your fitness level and fitness goals. It’s always a good idea to start an exercise program slowly and increase the weights and repetitions as your strength and endurance increases. One way to evaluate your fitness level is to count how many pushups and sit-ups you can do. Do you need to modify them? How long does it take you to walk a mile? You will also want to know your body mass index (BMI), in addition to taking your measurements. Both of these tools can help you measure and monitor your progress. Here is how to measure your BMI on the WebMD website (https://www.webmd.com/diet/body-bmi-calculator).
- Exercise at the same time every day. Whether you’re a morning person or not, pick a time to exercise and stick with it. If for some reason you need to change it, then exercise at a different time. But, the main point is to find a time that works for your lifestyle and stick with it. This will not only help you remember to exercise, but it will help you establish a routine so that you maintain consistency.
- Your body needs time to heal or recover, so allow yourself 1-2 days between your workouts. Unfortunately, if you exercise too much and too frequently without giving your body proper time to recover, you can damage your muscles, as well as your joints.
People have many responsibilities and fitting a work out into your life may seem impossible. But it’s not; once you start exercising and learn what works for you and your family, it becomes easier to stick with it.