It’s hard to do things you don’t find enjoyable. But if it’s exercise that makes you cringe, know that avoiding it completely can have a negative impact on your health.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend 150 minutes of physical activity each week, along with two muscle-strengthening workouts. This might sound like a lot of work, but it’s not so bad when you break it up over the course of the week. Here’s how to “sneak” in exercise each day—important for your physical and mental well-being and particularly timely as we recognize National Physical Fitness and Sports Month this May.
Get a Fitness Tracker
According to the Mayo Clinic, you should aim for 10,000 steps a day. A fitness tracker does the math for you, but it also does much more. Depending on the type and style you get, it can also monitor your heart rate and calorie burn as well as encourage you to take breaks throughout the day to stretch or simply stand up and lubricate those joints.
If you like technology and don’t mind making the investment in a smart device like an Apple Watch or a Fitbit, a fitness tracker could be a great tool to help you sneak in more exercise each day. You might be surprised to see how many active minutes and steps you can accumulate every time you get a drink of water or climb a set of stairs.
Try the Pomodoro® Technique
The Pomodoro® Technique is a time management method that utilizes timed bursts of productivity followed by short breaks. It’s simple: Focus on a task for 25 minutes, then take a five-minute break.
The entire 30-minute period is called a pomodoro—Italian for “tomato”—named for the shape of the timer that Francesco Cirillo used when he created this effective technique. Try it with exercise. After your 25-minute period of work is over, use your 5-minute break for some sort of light physical activity.
You could march in place to get your heart rate up or pick up some light dumbbells for bicep curls. If you were to do six Pomodoros throughout your work day (that’s only three hours total!), you’d be able to squeeze in 30 minutes of exercise without breaking too much of a sweat.
Install Under-the-Desk Exercise Equipment
Not all exercise equipment is bulky like the type you see at the gym. There are streamlined elliptical machines and even treadmills designed to fit under a desk so that you can burn calories while you work. And no, you don’t have to run a 5K while you’re on a call or a virtual meeting with coworkers, but you can squeeze in more steps and stay more alert during the workday.
If you view exercise as physical punishment, try to reverse that way of thinking and reward yourself for becoming more active. For example, if you get your 10,000 steps a day, allow time for a relaxing bubble bath. Get 10,000 steps per day for an entire month and treat yourself to a massage. It doesn’t have to be costly to be rewarding, though. Find an incentive that will make you look forward to your workout—or rather, the end of your workout—and watch those active minutes add up during the week.
None of these suggestions involve committing to any strenuous exercise programs. The CDC says anything is better than nothing when it comes to physical activity, so find ways that work for you to incorporate more exercise into your day.
Exercise is good for your physical, mental, and emotional health. Find out how Beachside Rehab in West Palm Beach, Florida can offer additional support you need to thrive in your journey. Call 866-349-1770 today to connect with a trained admissions counselor.