7 Ways to Sneak More Exercise Into Your Busy Schedule

by Brittany Lyte on 30 November 2016 (0 comments)

A good workout is the key component of some of the most successful people's daily routines. Not only does exercise boost your energy, but it also relieves stress and releases those feel-good endorphins that make you feel like you can conquer any task. President Barack Obama, media icon Oprah Winfrey and billionaire Richard Branson all swear by their daily workout routines. And if they can make time for exercise, so can you.

Try some of these tips for sneaking more fitness into your busy life.

1. Set Small Daily Goals

Would you like to drop a few pounds, or is it chiseled abs that you're after? Or maybe you're looking to add more heart-healthy aerobic exercise to your routine. Whatever your motivation for embarking on this journey to sneak more fitness into your life, sit yourself down with a pen and notepad and pinpoint a clear fitness goal. Then write down a list of all the little daily goals you'll need to achieve in order to reach it.

Simply having a goal to visualize, like building up enough arm strength to complete a pull-up or the endurance to run a 5K, will help keep you focused. And when you break your overarching goal down into several smaller goals, the finish line starts to feel a whole lot more attainable.

2. Fuel Yourself With Energizing Foods

Some foods are naturally energizing, while others are more inclined to make us feel sleepy and sluggish. And, as we all know from experience, it can feel impossible to muster up the willpower to be active when you're drowsy. Solution: Eat more activating foods.

Almonds make for a convenient snack, for example, and their high caloric content will give you the fast fuel you need to rev up for a swim in the lap pool or a neighborhood run. Fruits and vegetables of all kinds are packed with the energizing vitamins your body needs to keep you feeling alert and motivated. On the avoid list are sugary snacks that can lead to an energy crash as well as processed foods that are harder for the body to metabolize.

3. Touch Your Toes

You can do it anywhere and it needn't take more than a couple of minutes. It's one of the simplest exercises out there, yet touching your toes can benefit you in big ways. Toe touches help to increase your range of motion, which can slowly but surely boost your flexibility — and that's something that will give you a boost in any workout routine. Not only is good flexibility key to building muscle, it also helps your body avoid injuries. So when you're waiting for the coffee to brew or for the oven to heat, sneak in some gentle toe-touches.

4. Make a Workout of Your Morning Commute

Why not capitalize on your commute? If you live within a reasonable distance from your workplace, opt to commute on bicycle or foot. By getting a little exercise en route to and from the office, you'll make efficient use of what would otherwise be sedentary time. If you live too far to walk or bike, park a little further from the entrance and take the stairs instead of the elevator to your office.

5. Walk for 30 Minutes

Not only is walking highly accessible with no need for fancy fitness equipment, it can be done at day or night, at a park or at a shopping mall — or even around the house. Just five minutes of aerobic walking can increase your energy and mental agility, but most fitness experts suggest extending your walk for 30 minutes if you also want to ward off chronic disease. If you're finding it difficult to carve out a full half hour for your aerobic walk, find solace in knowing that you can break it up and still get all the health benefits, so long as you're completing 30 cumulative minutes of brisk walking over the course of the day.

6. Keep Your Gym Clothes Handy

Bring them to work. Keep a spare set in the car. Treat them as you would your wallet and don’t leave home without them. Whenever you have down time is a great time to get your sweat on. So don't let yourself miss out on an impromptu jog through the park just because you don't have easy access to a pair of sneakers.

7. Recruit an Exercise Buddy

It can be much easier to stay true to your fitness goals when you have a friend, family member or colleague at your side. Exercising with a partner actually improves weight-loss results because your partner can help keep you motivated on days when your commitment starts to waver.

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please consult your physician before beginning this or any exercise program.

This article is sponsored by Cigna. It is for educational purposes only and is intended to promote consumer health. It is not intended as medical advice and you should always consult a professional for medical advice. For other tips on using your health benefits, visit http://www.cigna.com/takecontrol/.  All Cigna products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation.

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7 Ways to Sneak More Exercise Into Your Busy Schedule

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Jennifer Love

The last one is very important especially at a gym where you need the help of a partner. Nice one Brittany Lyte.