The Following is a guest post and does not necessarily reflect the views of exercisebasics.
Has it come down to choosing between squeezing a plump body into an outfit you’ve outgrown or trying to figure out how to squeeze in exercise? Both situations are stressful but, let’s face facts; carrying excess weight on your body isn’t good for your health. Our bodies were made to move, and without at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per week, the extra weight will slowly pile on. On top of that, every fitness and health professional keeps asserting that strength training is important for bone density and good health. Whittle your middle, tone your muscles and drop excess flab by following these five tips for squeezing exercise into a busy schedule.
Tone Muscles While Watching TV. Relaxing in front of the television after a long day at work can be a nice way to wind down. Invest the first 15 minutes of your television time in toning your muscles while you watch TV to accomplish your strength training. You only need to perform strength training moves three times per week, for 15 minutes each time to achieve results. Use dumbbells or kettlebells as you do squats, lunges, dumbbell rows, bicep curls and shoulder presses.
Ten-Minute Spurts. Health and fitness professionals recommend 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week. When a hectic schedule precludes 30 minutes of uninterrupted exercise, go for 10-minute spurts instead. Take a brisk walk, go up and down the stairs or jog in place for three 10-minute segments spread throughout the day. If you do this five days a week, you’ll be able to squeeze in your cardio.
Waiting-in-Line Isometrics. Does it seem like you spend an inordinate amount of time standing in line? Use that time wisely to tighten and tone your muscles as you wait for your turn. Choose one area of muscle to focus on at a time, such as your calf muscles. Squeeze or contract the muscles, and hold the contraction for 30 to 60 seconds. Move on to other muscles, as time allows. Isometrics can be done anywhere at any time, even while sitting at your desk.
Take the Long Way. You’ve probably heard it before—park at the far end of the parking lot or walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator. The extra movement adds up in calories burned and will contribute toward faster weight loss.
Wake Up with Yoga. Stretching keeps your muscles long and lean, loosens your joint and helps relax your body. Even five to 10 minutes of yoga in the morning can help improve your range of motion and flexibility.
An all-or-nothing approach to exercise sets you up for fitness burnout or definite weight gain. Similar to many other healthy lifestyle changes, incorporating exercise into your life doesn’t have to occur on a rigid schedule or be strenuous in order to be effective. The small bits of effort you put forth throughout the day add up to calories burned, fat lost and muscle being toned.
If it’s been a while since you last exercised, start out by incorporating one of the five tips listed here to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Do as much as you can and then stop, but when the exercises you’re doing start to feel easier, perform them longer or add more weight. It took time to gain weight and lose muscle tone, and it will take time to shed the fat and sculpt your muscles. Don’t let a busy schedule stand between you and your health and fitness. Squeezing in exercise throughout the day can add up to create an effective fitness plan that helps you meet your goals.
Samantha Rodgers is a writer, blogger, and health-fitness enthusiast who spends her time researching and writing about health related issues, most especially about healthy diet and fitness health. She also writes about medical trials and becoming a member of a volunteer pool for GSK trials alongside her health and fitness interests.