I have a real treat for you! Today, I have not one but two amazingly, fabulous women on the blog today! Please give Alexandra & Kymberly Williams A warm welcome.They will whip you into shape in no time at all!
Identical twins and fitness pros Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA have been in the fitness industry for over 30 years. They teach, write, edit, emcee and present their programs worldwide on land, sea and airwaves. They co-write the blog FunAndFit.org, which focuses on healthy aging for Boom-Chicka-Boomers! As freelance writers, they combine their fitness and educational knowledge (Alexandra – Counseling; Kymberly – English) to share tips for aging actively.
In our many years of teaching and writing, one common question many women have asked us is, “I know I need to exercise, but I don’t have time. Do you have any suggestions?”
In some ways the answer seems simple. We just should tell these women to make time, right? Of course, we all know the answer isn’t that simple, partly because the question isn’t as simple as it might first appear.
What does that mean? It means the question is not always the words you hear; sometimes there is an underlying question (or hope). Even though it sounds like a plea for exercise and time solutions (and we have many; some are listed below and some are linked to in this post), that’s not necessarily the case. Before giving some answers about substituting inactivity for activity in ways that don’t add time demands to your day, let’s take a look at some of the secondary meanings that are tucked into this question:
I know I need to exercise, but I don’t want to, so I’ve made my day super busy so I can feel less guilty about not exercising.
I’m hoping you’ll tell me I’m okay, and that I don’t need to exercise.
Other people think I should exercise, but I don’t really agree, so I’m kicking this can down the road.
I actually hate to exercise, so please say you have an easy, “magic pill” solution that doesn’t involve sweating, exertion or a change of clothes.
And certainly, some want our expert input so they can make healthy changes to their routine.
Here’s how you can discern which of these is your true question: First, read our suggestions. Over the next two weeks, see if you’ve implemented any of them. If the answer is Yes, you truly wish to make some changes in your busy schedule. If you have not implemented any of them, you may not be ready yet, mentally or emotionally. It’s probably not your schedule, as the next two weeks will usually look like the last two. A hard question to ask yourself is if you are one of those people who’s comfortable with guilt, procrastination, and avoidance. It’s not a bad or good thing; it’s an awareness thing. Change is not comfortable. Staying in habits, even unhelpful ones, can be very comfortable. We probably all know someone who has been too busy for exercise every single day for weeks, months or even years.
Having said that the following tips will be helpful to any of you who are ready to fit in exercise:
- Every time you go to sit down, lower your butt just until it touches the chair, stand back up, then sit down. You’d be surprised at how many squats that adds up to
- When waiting for someone at an appointment, go for a walk instead of sitting in the lobby. If you need to be present at the appointment, stand up and pace or do step-touches in the waiting room. No reason to sit still while you wait.
- Arrange your kitchen so that you have to squat down low and reach up high to get everyday items.
- When you are making phone calls, pace around the room or do some strength training while you’re on hold (just remember to put the speakerphone on). Instead of sitting on hold, you can work out on hold.
- Do you eat lunch? At your desk? In a chair? Watching TV? In a box with a fox? Why do you do that? Take your lunch with you and go for a walk. And if the weather’s crappy, walk indoors – the office, your dusty treadmill or even the local mega-mall.
- No time to lie down on a mat and do some abs work? No problem. You can do standing core work. If you walk on the beach and stand on one leg while taking off a shoe to dump sand out of it, you are doing standing core and balance work. Even without sand, you probably wear shoes every day, right? Try putting them on and taking them off while standing without holding on to the table or counter.
As this list implies, you don’t need to make sweeping changes (and sweeping DOES count as exercise); just changing up a few everyday tasks can burn several hundred additional calories in a day. What tips would you add to the short list above?