Did you know that when people get busy, exercise is usually the number one thing that slides? I can’t remember where I read that, but it has a ring of truth to it. I know that when I’m tired or frazzled, it’s usually the last thing I want to do.
I live in a world of perpetual frustration that I have the appetite of a 6’4″, 250 pound linebacker in the body of a 5’4″, medium frame woman who should weigh half that. I like food. I’m not apologetic about it. It’s one of my chief pleasures in life. But that also means that if I’m to indulge, I’ve gotta counteract it. And that means exercise.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a two hour chunk every day to devote to exercise. I’m not sure I have a two hour chunk to do ANYTHING, and that includes Evil Day Job stuff, where I am interrupted on a regular basis. So if I’m to actually get my exercise in, I’ve got to fit it in wherever I can.
And that means breaking it up!
Anybody who happens to follow me on twitter and doesn’t know me may think I’m some kind of crazy health nut because I often work out two to four times a day. It sounds INSANE. Until you factor in the fact that most of those workouts are 15-30 minutes. Which adds up to 1-2 hours of exercise a day.
Here’s how it works out:
Before work I get up in time to squeeze in 45 minutes of exercise. That shakes out to usually 30 minutes of yoga and 15 minutes of boxing or 40 minutes of yoga on its own (depending on whether I’m in the mood for the quick routine or the full).
I live two miles from work, so I come home for lunch every day, and I try to squeeze in another 15-20 minutes of boxing. It’s not a lot, but it’s another 100 calories burned.
If I’m feeling guilty or KNOW I’m gonna be over-indulging, then I might pop on the exercise bike for half an hour after work (though usually I won’t because I hate working out after work).
And depending on weather and schedule, one of my co-workers and I will take the 15 minutes other folks might use on a smoke break and use it for a walk break. The loop around where we work is exactly a mile, so we’ll squeeze in 1 or 2 of those during the course of the day.
So, if I actually do it ALL, then I can usually manage to burn 450-500 calories a day, which means I can then eat as much as I actually want. Plus there’s the nice little boost of having multiple spikes in metabolism over the course of the day.
So if you’re having a hard time making exercise a part of your lifestyle, remember that you don’t have to go whole-hog an hour at a stretch. If you can only squeeze in a mile here, or ten minutes on the exercise bike there, or 5 sun salutations while cooking dinner, remember that every little bit adds up. And small steps are absolutely better than no steps.