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Hey, Busy Bees! Quick Tips to Fit in Fitness

Written on November 11, 2011 at 1:00 pm , by

Dumbbell and Stopwatch

Photo courtesy of SparkPeople

What’s the No. 1 excuse for not working out? Lack of time. But if you look closer, you’ll discover that you do have the time to work out—and you deserve to use that time for yourself. Also, remember that “working out” doesn’t have to happen in the gym or last for an hour! Short 10-minute bursts of exercise, accumulated over the course of the day, can add up.

Here’s how to start fitting fitness into your busy life!

1. Be an active TV/Internet watcher. It’s unrealistic to never watch TV or to shun the Internet forever.  So when you do, try to incorporate some physical activity. When watching TV, make it a point to do some jumping jacks or push-ups during commercials. And instead of sitting in a chair when on the computer, try sitting on a stability ball.

2. Mix socializing with exercising. Do you normally spend time with your family or friends by going to dinner or going to movies? Make your social time more active by planning events that get all of you moving. Go for a family hike on a beautiful Saturday morning or make a date with your significant other or best friend at a group exercise class.

3. Turn chores into exercise. While cleaning might not be the most fun activity, it’s something we all have to do, and it can definitely be a workout if you want it to be. Set a kitchen timer for 20 minutes and see how much of the house you can clean. Try to be as efficient and quick-paced as possible, and you’re guaranteed to work up a sweat. If you’re doing lighter housework that is harder to get your heart rate up (like laundry or organizing), throw in some lunges or push-ups every few minutes.

4. Schedule an appointment. If you had scheduled a doctor’s appointment, you wouldn’t miss it would you? Working out is actually as important as going to the doctor or any other obligation that you prioritize. So whether it’s scheduling in an hour to go to that group exercise class, investing in personal training sessions or even making a date with yourself to do that workout DVD over your lunch break, write it in pen in your calendar and treat it like any other appointment you can’t miss!

5. Say no. If you’ve gone through this entire list of tips and don’t think a single one will work in your life, then it’s time to look at your priorities and responsibilities. Do you really have to bake cookies for that fundraiser? Attend that wedding shower of your second cousin? Remember that there’s nothing wrong in saying no. Yes, we all have obligations to others, but don’t forget about the obligation you have to yourself to take care of your body and your health!

Continued: 5 More Ideas for Fitting in Exercise

More from SparkPeople:

Small Bits of Fitness Add Up

Squeezing in Exercise

Get a Free Fitness and Weight-Loss Plan

Would You Work Out in Your Closet?

Written on October 12, 2011 at 12:28 pm , by

See the mats, weights, towel and ball hiding on the right?(Photo courtesy of California Closets)

This setup is the thing some of our dreams are made of: Closets large enough to exercise in, let alone walk in? Unreal! It’s like what might happen if Sarah Jessica Parker and Jillian Michaels shared a house. (Wait, can we be roommates too?)

California Closets, a company that creates customized storage to fit their clients lifestyles, has seen an uptick in requests for spaces that serve multiple purposes, say, a closet with a coffee station, office and home gym. They claim that this can help people start their days off in an streamlined, stress-free way since everything they want is within the same space (rather than running downstairs for coffee, back upstairs to work on their laptops and watch TV, then to their home gym setup).

The company recently put together this massive closet space, which could also be done in a guest bedroom, that acted as an office and home gym as well. Cubbies store yoga mats and blocks, towels and dumbbells, and you can hide the desk space to make the area a zen retreat.

So we’d love to know: Would you ever work out in your closet? Do you have a dedicated space within your house that motivates you to exercise?

More from FITNESS: This reader turned her garage into a home gym and lost 30 pounds! Check out how she did it.

Do You Exercise in the a.m.?

Written on June 7, 2011 at 10:25 am , by

Morning workouts...Do I have to? (Photo by Sara Forrest)

I’ll be honest: I am not a morning person. I’ll wake up bright and early and be on time for races, appointments and work, but not with the perky enthusiasm of a natural morning person. (Coffee! Stat!) This is why I choose to work out in the evening after work. The thought of going to the gym first thing in the morning is foreign to me. I couldn’t understand how you morning gym-goers do it!

When I looked at my calendar this week, however, I noticed that I had a lot of after-work events lined up and meetings throughout the day. Instead of ignoring my fitness for the week, I decided to suck it up and wake up before 6 a.m. for a workout before work. I expected to find lots of busy professionals at the gym, crowded locker rooms and no available machines or equipment.

Boy was I wrong! I hopped on the elliptical right away and had lots of space for free weight exercises and stretching after. Even showering and getting ready in the locker room was stress-free. And I made it to work early! Though I’m not sure if I’ll do all my workouts in the morning, I know now that post-work plans don’t have to get in the way of my fitness.

What about you guys? Are you a morning workouts person, or more of a nighttime exerciser like me?