Ten ways to fit exercise into your busy schedule
“Physical activity is important to a healthy lifestyle. Being active helps reduce your chances of developing illnesses, gives you more energy and improves your overall health,” says Lori Irvine, Coordinator of Organization and Employee Development at The Scarborough Hospital. “Exercise is a good stress reliever and can help improve your productivity.”
Statistics Canada estimates that more than half of Canadians are physically inactive. The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity – like a walking briskly, swimming, gardening or dancing – on most days of the week.
Lori shares ten ways to fit exercise into a busy schedule:
- Make a commitment and schedule exercise into your day. Write it in your calendar or agenda so that you remember to do it.
- Choose exercise activities that you like. If you hate running, don’t buy a treadmill. You are more likely to stay committed to regular exercise if you pick activities that you like.
- Play with your children. Throw a ball around in the backyard, go skating or take a hike as a family. You will have fun and your good example will encourage your children to stay active.
- Use your breaks at work as an opportunity to fit in some exercise. Go for a walk, climb the stairs or do some stretches.
- Sign up for a team sport or activity and remember: your team is counting on you.
- Recruit some friends and make a commitment to exercise together. You may enjoy exercising more if you think of it as a social event.
- If your workplace has a gym or runs fitness classes, consider joining. The more convenient it is to exercise, the more likely you will do it.
- Try walking or biking to work. It is good for you and the environment. If you live too far to commute to work on foot or bike, get off the bus a block early or park a distance from the entrance to your workplace.
- Skip the elevators at work. Take the stairs.
- Do more housework. Mow the lawn, rake the leaves, do some vacuuming. Housework can be good exercise.