Incorporating exercise into the busy daily routine

Alyza LeBlanc

My daughter just spent her spring break with my parents which left me with an empty house. With the extra time I was able to fit in extra workouts, did some yard work and took a lot of walks while dog sitting for my parents. Not having to cook for a week, I also ate super clean and am feeling incredibly healthy. Since they are all headed back from their adventures, I've spent some time trying to figure out how to maintain some of the extra fitness while I get back into the regular routine.

1. Binge Watching Exercise - my girlfriend up in Michigan had a great suggestion. When she identifies a new series she wants to binge watch, that show becomes her workout partner. She makes a rule that she can only watch that show while walking on her treadmill, biking or rowing.

2. Park Far Away - there are always errands to run but most of us tend to look for the closest spot to the door so we can get in and out as quickly as possible. You will not lose any time if instead of driving around scoping out the best spot, intentionally head straight to the end of a row and take a brisk walk.

3. Use a Stability Ball - whether we like it or not, most of us have had to incorporate quite a number of virtual meetings into our daily schedules. Not only do you improve core strength but it will also assist posture and back pain by exchanging your office chair with a stability ball.

4. Walking Meetings - I have a number of regular calls that incorporate a large group of individuals, and are primarily informational meetings, in which I do not actively participate. During these calls, I frequently throw my ear buds in and put my mic and mute and head to a local trail while I listen. If you work in a traditional office, perhaps you can suggest a walking meeting rather than sitting in a conference room.

5. TV Time Challenges - our regular week day includes watching Jeopardy after dinner and homework. While we strain our brains to see who can get the most answers correct, sometimes we will do a wall chair challenge and see who can last the longest or during commercials we try to maintain a plank until the show comes back on, occasionally a sit up challenge during the final jeopardy question. Making it competitive somehow takes the focus off the exercise and on the competitive aspect.

I think the biggest thing is don't make it harder than it needs to be; start with little things. Once you start feeling healthier, it becomes natural to want to incorporate more exercise into daily habits and somehow you just find a way to fit it in.

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Lifestyle insights on work, parenting, and relationship balance from the perspective of a business professional and solo parent to an adopted teen.


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