---- — Finding time to exercise is no small feat for many people. Obligations at home and at the office can make it hard to fit in a workout, a familiar quandary for men and women with multiple commitments.
Though it’s not always easy to fit in a workout when juggling multiple responsibilities, men and women must consider the responsibility they have with regard to maintaining their physical and mental health.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services advises that healthy adults get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity and that such activity should be spread out over the course of the week.
In addition, the DHHS also advises that healthy adults include strength training exercises in their workout regimens at least twice a week. This type of workout schedule can improve both physical and mental health, making it easier for men and women to handle their hectic schedules.
While such recommendations may seem manageable, many men and women still feel as if there’s just not enough time in the day for them to incorporate a daily exercise regimen. The following are a few ways to find time for fitness.
Take a walking lunch. Many professionals have heard of a “working lunch,” but those strapped for time to exercise might want to take a walking lunch instead. Rather than sitting at your desk or in your favorite booth at a nearby restaurant on your lunch hour each day, consider squeezing in some time to walk during those 30-60 minutes you normally spend eating or catching up on office gossip with coworkers. Invite a few coworkers along, walking to and from your favorite restaurant or finding a nearby park and going for a quick walk. This is an easy way to squeeze in the recommended 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each day, and you will no doubt feel more energized after lunch than if you had simply eaten without exercising.
Exercise in the morning. Research has shown that men and women who exercise in the mornings exercise on a more consistent basis than those who exercise later in the day, including after leaving the office at the end of the workday. When exercising in the early morning hours, people are less likely to encounter scheduling conflicts, as coworkers, colleagues and even the kids will likely still be asleep. That means fewer interrupted or missed workouts.
Prepare meals ahead of time. If working out in the morning simply won’t work out for you, then consider planning meals in advance so you can free up time between the office and dinner each night. For example, slow cookers and crock pots make it possible to start making dinner in the early morning and require little or no effort once you arrive home in the evening. Plan to cook a few meals each week in a slow cooker, which will free up time for you to workout when you would otherwise be preparing dinner.
Work while you workout. Smartphones and tablets have made it easier than ever to get work done while you’re away from work. This includes getting some work done while you’re getting in your weekly recommended aerobic activity on the treadmill, elliptical machine or exercise bike. Thanks to smartphones and tablets, you can now read and answer emails and work on some projects while you sweat away those extra pounds.
Get off the couch. Many men and women prefer to unwind on the couch as they catch up on their favorite television shows and movies. But such unwinding should not come at the expense of working out. Much like catching up on work at the gym, you also can catch up on your favorite shows and movies while at the gym. Many smartphones and tablets now have apps that allow users to access subscription streaming services, so users who can’t find time to exercise should take advantage of such apps and watch their favorite shows and movies from the treadmill instead of the couch. Readers who can comfortably read while exercising can follow a similar route and read on the elliptical instead of sitting sedentary in a chair as they make their way through the latest bestseller.
Did you know? Weightlifting benefits children. A review published in a 2010 issue of the medical journal Pediatrics found that children benefit from weight training. In the review, researchers from the Institute of Training Science and Sports Informatics in Cologne, Germany, analyzed studies that focused on children and weightlifting. The review looked at studies going as far back as 60 years, finding that children and adolescents who lifted weights grew stronger. Those who participated in strength training twice per week gained more strength than those who participated just once per week. These findings contradict a longstanding belief that children do not actually get stronger. But while children and adolescents may be getting stronger, researchers found that they do not add as much bulk or obvious muscle mass as adults. Instead, researchers feel the strength changes in children and adolescents stem more from neurological changes that make their nervous systems and muscles interact more efficiently. Though parents have long worried that strength training will stunt their children's growth, researchers now feel that properly supervised strength training will not stunt growth or lead to growth-plate injuries and will perhaps even reduce their risk of injury as opposed to increasing that risk.