Saturday, May 8, 2010

There’s no getting around it – exercise is not an option if we want to look and feel our best. It helps prevent every major disease you can find, enhances mood, improves appearance and confidence, increases energy, and relieves stress. With over 600 major muscle groups in your body, you are designed for movement.

So how can a busy person manage to exercise on a regular basis? First, find an activity that you truly enjoy. Don’t say “I can’t” but rather ask “how can I…?” when both seeking an appropriate exercise and figuring out how to fit it into your schedule. Identify a variety of activities you enjoy, incorporating aerobics, strength training, and flexibility.

Be creative and flexible when planning your exercise sessions, being sure to plan them each week and put them on your calendar. I like to schedule my exercise early in the week, in case something absolutely unavoidable comes up to prevent me from keeping my exercise commitment. Then I have time to reschedule my sessions later in the week. Do your best to exercise at least once a week to maintain your exercise habit.

Another success strategy is to have an exercise buddy, someone who can hold you accountable. Choose someone that will help you stay on track, not someone you’ll have to encourage on an ongoing basis. We all need the occasional motivational boost, but overall you’ll be more successful if you can find a partner who is as committed as you are to being well. A lifestyle coach or personal trainer is another option, especially if you’d like to have the help of an expert.

Be prepared for schedule changes. Keep extra tennis shoes at your desk and/or in your car. You never know when a meeting will cancel and you'll have an hour to kill. Finally, remember that ten minutes of activity are better than no activity at all. Go easy on yourself, and get going!

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