This active lifestyle is not always all it is cracked up to be. Sure the benefits of movement are numerous but that doesn't make it any easier to fit in a work out. Whether you're a single individual or a part of a couple or group, our energy is being pulled and consumed from different directions.
Our children can't seem to get enough attention whilst our spouse is ever busy with a task that needs our assistance. Mothers will call last minute with an errand or perhaps the after school program is cancelled and you can no longer get to your Pilates class. Then there's the life event or emergency that takes up 72 hours to resolve (i.e. weddings, holidays, events and relative sickness).
In these instances, it's best to adapt and adopt a can do attitude! When everything has gone off the agenda, dedication to movement must remain a priority. It could be detrimental to our well being to not move our bodies once we have grown accustomed to a regimen. Here are ways to fit in movement during a hectic day:
It all adds up, do it whenever, where ever, and however.
Before I could work fulltime as a fitness coach, thanks to my loyal LegitFitters, I worked as a bartender and waitress. Those are pretty active jobs but they didn't exactly require movement in the ways I was working to build my physique. During the down times I worked on my squat technique and did inclined push ups using the bar.
A client of mine determined to strengthen her stability in single leg stances boasted how she practiced her exercises during a presentation behind a podium.
Once while walking up to another floor with a client, I asked her to skip a step. When she asked why I replied, "Why not?"
Movement helps burn calories but diversity in movement is what stimulates more muscles in the body which leads to more calorie burn over time. Sprinkling in movements that are outside the norm of your repetitive movements counts as exercise.
Real life movement application:
Pressing our children or pets over our head offers a a variation in movement we wouldn't usually do throughout the day. Be sure to brace through the middle of the back on the down phase of the motion and there you have it, overhead presses.
2. Time it in workable intervals
Increased heart rates are important however cardio training needs to only last over 1 minute to get into the oxidative phase. Therefore, coupling strength movements with timed intervals of at least 60 seconds is most effective to continue calorie burn after movement has stopped.
Imagine your HIIT workout broken up and displaced throughout the day. In particular, HIIT workouts have the benefit of reducing resting heart rate in individuals with hypertension. Apply that to a stressful day and give yourself at least one minute to do body weight cardio such as jumping jacks, high knees, burpees, and mountain climbers.
If I feel anxious or worse tired and brain dead, I am known to to do 1 minute of burpees to give my self a pick me up. So long as the movement is active and incorporates many muscle groups you'll never go wrong picking movement in a day slump.
Smart watches such as Apple Watch allow you to record different workouts with just a tap on the wrist
3. Do something childlike
Something I like to do as a warm up when I know I only have 15 minutes in the gym is skip. I call them power skips or Wonder Woman skips during aqua aerobics. In theory, if I have been maintain proper walking posture and my flexibility is somewhat even, skipping is a safe way to elevate my heart rate and warm up my body.
The key is to start with small single leg jumps that evolve into full range lunge and leaping motion. That starts from the foot in contact with the ground that needs dorsiflex and plantarflex swiftly in order to transfer impact weight off the joint and into the ground and back into the joints. Next, focus on achieving height. That requires a fast twitch fibers motion meaning creating tension throughout the body in and instant and releasing the power created.
Imagine a whirl of energy, give it a color, that is a vortex around the foot and travels upward through the leg and into the torso. I find it helps to build momentum by swinging the arms in a running like motion. This is the natural swing of the arms. Then let the energy release from the crown of the head which we want to be as close the sky as possible. Ignite as many muscles you need to jump high with the least amount of ground contact.
4. Break your regimen up.
For those of us whose program included different forms of activity, play that to your daily advantage. Stairs are a great way to get in a good calorie burn so many of my clients know a few tricks to make a set of stairs the most valuable piece of equipment at in your home. 3-7 minutes is all you need to spending climbing up and down a stair case.
When in doubt, pick to most developed movement from a regimen. That's the movement we feel the most confident in during a work out. I'd say favorite exercise, but I've learned I'm a fool for enjoying exercise ha ha. It is okay to do that movement alone or perhaps a set of movements that are "easy". Now do it in a different environment. Often subtle changes, like music, location, type of floor, atmosphere, makes the exercise new and more demanding.
The key is to be able to do that movement at anytime. That's lifestyle fitness.
If you're still looking for a "No brainer" routine, here you go:
10 jump squats
20 alternating lunges
1 min plank
1 min mountain climbers
1 min reverse plank
20 Crab Walk (tapping heels)
5. Be gracious with yourself
If you can find ways to move your body outside of normal range of motion as well as fit in a workout 3X a week, you are quite fit. To be successful it's important to acknowledge the wins. Go through your daily routine and meditate on the moments non-exercise related where you are most active.
Those moments are the reason we exercise and care for our bodies. If fitting in a regimen is hard, make sure the self-centered thought is present. Knowing that our body is important to our functioning in the world is a great motivation to support it. No matter what's going on, we are most useful at our strongest, therefore ignoring or making self-care the last priority will show up in our lives.
Even if it can't be a big chunk of time like 30 mins, dedicate time to yourself throughout the day. Keep track that you are burning at least 2000 calories a day.