Fitting in Fitness

Not everyone can go to the gym and spend an hour or so exercising. Some people are even hard pressed to find half an hour, never mind a 45 minute spin or Zumba class. Since research has shown that we must move our bodies to promote longevity and wellness into our lives, how can those extra busy individuals incorporate physical fitness in their lives? Fortunately it does not have to be next to impossible. As the trusted saying goes,

Where there is a will, there is a way.

I recall a sociology professor I had in college named Janice, who was one busy lady. She was a single mom of two children, working on her PhD, worked full-time, and both her children were involved in after school classes or lessons, especially her eldest daughter who played rep soccer. Between her children’s commitments, her job, her studies and her 1 hour commute to campus, she just did not have enough hours in the day. One afternoon in class the topic of exercise and all its benefits arose. Janice told us that although she is busy, she still was able to incorporate fitness into her life. Here is Janice’s list of ways to workout when there’s simply no time for the gym that I will always remember.

1. Take the stairs when ascending and skip the elevators or escalators. Janice told us it took her over three flights to get from her office to the main coffee shop on campus (where they sold the freshest coffee she said.)

2. Take a power walk in the hallways between classes. This could even be a 5 to 10 minute walk just to get moving. Sometimes, even her students or colleagues would join her.

3. Utilize your lunch break. During Janice’s lunch break she would take 15 minutes of this time to go to the campus gym where she would do light weights and mid day stretches. Janice also swore by these lunch break workout sessions, as she said it gave her a burst of energy for her afternoon.

4. Park in a further spot at the mall or grocery store, rather than always looking out for a close entry parking space. Get a little walk from the car to the entry.

5. While she waited for her daughter to finish soccer practice, Janice would power walk or jog around the field.

Janice was not able to do 30 to 60 solid minutes at once, but what she did was perfect for her crazy, busy life. She was able to fit in 2 or 3 10 minute sessions of exercise throughout her day. A couple years past since I last saw Janice. I bumped into her at Walmart. Still the bubbly, blonde and petite lady, I recognized her at once. I told her how I still remember about when she told the class about her busy life fitness tips and how much it resonated with me, even to this day. She said, she still utilizes these tips. “I parked waaaay at the back of the lot today,” she laughed, “although at Walmart those are pretty much the only spaces available.”

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2 thoughts on “Fitting in Fitness

  1. I heard Michelle Obama will wake up as early as 4am to fit a workout into her day! I am definitely not that dedicated but I definitely have a lot of respect for that kind of drive!

    1. Michelle Obama must be extra busy during her day too. I personally would rather use Janice’s method of 2 or 3 10 minute increments throughout the day. 4:00am is too early for me, but boy does it show dedication.

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