If you can’t swing a steady schedule of workouts, don’t feel you’ve failed. Instead, look for opportunities to make movement a part of everyday life — you’ll find them.
Studies show that taking a lifestyle-based approach to exercise can improve fitness almost as much as a program of gym workouts, with sedentary people able to gain 30 minutes of activity five days a week just by sneaking it into their regular day. Some ways to achieve this:
- Next time you go to a sporting event, don’t stay on the bench. Get up and walk around between quarters. Circle the stadium at halftime. Climb the stairs during time-outs — and stay clear of the hot dog stand.
- Why tap your feet waiting for the elevator? Hit the stairs instead — you may actually get where you’re going faster.
- If you’re going to sit in front of the tube, make it a stationary-bicycle seat. Aim to pedal your way through a 30-minute program. If you don’t have a bike, do jumping jacks or march in place during the commercials.
- Instead of fighting for parking close to the door, head for the open spaces farther out and walk the rest of the way.
- Take the dog (if you don’t have one, borrow the neighbor’s pooch) for a stroll or run. Let him decide where to go, and follow wherever he leads.
- Get up to change channels instead of using the remote.
- Instead of meeting a friend for coffee, skip the java and get your jolt of energy from a walk in the park.