Make healthy choices, not excuses
We all know that breaking a sweat regularly leads to a healthier life. But between going to classes, work, spending time with family and friends, and everything else, how do you make time for fitness?
“It really comes down to doing what you can and fitting it in where you can,” says Edmonton-based trainer Jennifer Parker (Personal Fitness Trainer ’18).
She has some easy tips for fitting exercise into your busy life.
1. Break it down
The recommended amount of aerobic activity for Canadian adults is 150 minutes per week. That might seem like a lot, but it’s really easy to split up, says Parker. She recommends doing three 10-minute sessions each day, whenever it’s convenient. Put it into your calendar like an appointment.
“The goal is to make it a habit, an expected part of your day or your week and not make it a choice,” she says.
2. Start simple
You don’t need to join a gym or buy expensive equipment to get active, Parker says. Start simple, like going for a run or walk. All you’ll need is a pair of shoes!
You can also try bodyweight exercises like push-ups, squats, lunges and planks, which don’t require special gear. Parker says a simple internet or Instagram search will lead to hundreds of routines you can do anywhere.
3. Make healthy choices
Incorporating exercise into your daily tasks is an easy way to get moving, says Parker. If you plan to meet a friend for dinner or drinks, suggest going for a walk instead. She also recommends taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking somewhere instead of driving.
“Adding any movement into your day whenever you can all helps.”
4. Make it fun
If you dread a certain type of exercise, try something else, Parker says. A major reason why people don’t make the time to work out is because they don’t enjoy it. It’s important to find activities that you’ll want to do.
Finding a workout partner or trying a fitness class can make exercise more fun, she says. Changing your mindset can also lead to a more enjoyable experience.
“Reframe your attitude toward exercise and think in terms of ‘I can and I will’ instead of thinking about the aspects you don’t like. If you put in the effort, you will succeed.”