Fitness, Lifestyle

Incidental Fitness

I’m sure everyone has heard of the myriad benefits of exercising, from reducing stress to staving off debilitating diseases. So why do statistics show that just a mere fraction of the population exercises on a regular basis? Hard to say, since an endless list of factors come into play, from lacking time or motivation to fatigue. Ultimately, the reasons or excuses don’t really matter. What is important is: how you can improve your fitness level regardless of the challenges you’re facing.

I’ve been a pretty hard core fitness nut forever.  While I prefer dedicating an hour or so, 6 times a week, to release the feel-good endorphins, there are times when it plain makes sense to fit in during multiple “incidental” sessions.

Countless research studies have shown significant improvements when subjects commit to moderate, frequent and consistent exercise. Here are some suggestions:

Bundling: Bundle your normal daily routine. Do you brush your teeth first thing? Right before or after, do 10 pushups, 20 squats and 50 jumping jacks. Like to watch TV? Get up during commercials and do 10 pushups, 20 squats and 50 jumping jacks. Like/need to cook? That’s right—10 pushups, 20 squats and 50 jumping jacks while waiting for the pasta water to boil. Midday coffee break? You know what I’m going to say.

Momentum: Even if you can’t do a “real” workout, do something active for 15 minutes each everyday, I don’t know about you, but if I slack off for a few days for whatever reason (other than illness or my one day off per week), then I say to myself, “what’s one more day?” This is especially critical if you’re just getting into an exercise program, as “experts” have always maintained that it takes a minimum of 21 consecutive days to acquire a habit.

Visibility: keep some exercise equipment in sight at all times. I rotate a portable stepper, dumbbells and Russian kettle bells in my kitchen/family room. When waiting for sauces to reduce, onions to caramelize, etc., I can get a decent micro mini workout in.

Flexibility, not physical flexibility, that’s another blog altogether. Be ready to change your workout time if your schedule gets thrown off.

Finally, play energizing music.

Try it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the impact of these seemingly small measures.

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