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Published on March 06, 2018

woman doing planks

#TryItTuesday: Making Time to Get Fit When There is No Time

Empty nesters — that’s what we are. And one would think that we would have all the time in the world to “GET FIT!” However, between aging parents, children and grandchildren, not to mention professional and personal obligations, the struggle to find the time to exercise is a real challenge.

This has been one of those weeks for me. Unexpected client needs, spouse’s change in work schedule and preparing to stay at the grandchildren’s home for a week has left me little time to go to the gym.

I’m going to be honest with you. My normal reaction would have been, oh, well…I’ll get back on track next week. But, you know what, frankly, I’m tired of starting over. I’ve been consistent with my swimming and walking these last few weeks. I knew that if I didn’t figure out how to squeeze some physical activity in this week, I’d be disappointing myself.

Find The Right Place and Space

This morning I had 15 extra minutes before I needed to get ready for work. When I can’t make it to the gym, my preference is to walk/jog outside. Yet it was still dark out, and I’m a bit afraid of slipping on the ice, so I kept my work out indoors.

We have a cross trainer in our basement — or should I say clothes rack? Can anyone else relate? Since I’ve been increasing my activity these past few weeks, I thought I’d start with 10 minutes of low interval training, to begin. I lasted 4½ minutes! I quickly discovered that working out on a cross trainer is much harder than it looks. I’m still proud of the effort I made and now have a new goal to make it to six minutes next time.

Cross trainers, while a bit more challenging than some machines, are good as they will use all muscle groups for a great all over workout.

With still a few more minutes before I needed to get ready for work, I decided to use the 7- minute workout app I have on my phone. I love this app as it offers a great workout you can do anywhere. This particular app has 12 high-intensity bodyweight exercises, 30 seconds per exercise, with 10 seconds rest between exercises. (There are a few of the exercises that I’m unable to do entirely yet, so I modified them. An example is push-ups. These have been a real challenge since my mastectomy, so I did wall push-ups instead.)

If you are short on time, here are some other options for free or low cost at-home physical activity ideas.

  1. Jumping rope: Start with 30 seconds and work your way up. Great cardio workout.
  2. Stair stepping: No stairs, no worries. A step stool or a large book will work just as well. Start with 1 minute and work your way up.
  3. Planks: Great for building up your core muscles. Start with holding a plank for 15 to 30 seconds. Try adding 10 seconds every day.
  4. Lunges: Standing lunges or walking lunges are a great workout for your legs. You want to make sure your form is correct to prevent injury.
  5. High knees: Run in place bringing your knees up as high as they can go. This exercise will get your heart pumping in no time.
  6. Jumping jacks: Start with 10 jumping jacks and work your way up.
  7. Wall sits: Another excellent core exercise. Start with 20-30 seconds and add 10 seconds every day.

No Time is No Excuse

Another option on those days when there just isn’t any time for an actual workout: Add some moves to your daily routine. Here are some of my favorite ways:

  1. When filling up a glass of water — do five toe raises.
  2. When putting on my shoes — stop and do five squats.
  3. Set my watch timer for 60 minutes and when the timer goes off, do 1 minute of stretching.
  4. Before putting my coat on, do 10 large arm circles.
  5. Instead of trying to carry all of my groceries in on one trip, take multiple trips — easier on the back, and you get more steps.
  6. Schedule meetings at a location that is within walking distance of your office.
  7. Drink more water — more steps walking to the bathroom.
  8. Stand when I’m going through emails.
  9. Do 10 windmills when I’m waiting for supper to cook.
  10. Stretch for 1 minute before getting out of bed in the morning. 

Finding time to get fit often means making the time. These at-home exercises can easily fit into even the busiest of schedules. Getting fit … it’s a choice!

Live Better. Live Balanced. Avera.

Avera is a health ministry rooted in the Gospel. Our mission is to make a positive impact in the lives and health of persons and communities by providing quality services guided by Christian values.

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