This is a guest post by Aaron O’Connor, a former track & field athlete, currently a writer and amateur fitness trainer in Washington State. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out my guest post guidelines.
We all need exercise, but oftentimes it is difficult to find the time or the motivation. Most of us have very busy schedules that involve a variety of different tasks and day-to-day obligations that make fitting in a daily exercise routine quite challenging. However, if you have enough determination, it is possible to find time to fit in a daily exercise routine.
The first step is to set yourself a goal (or goals). Whether that goal is losing 20 pounds, lowering your blood pressure, running a 5k or benching 120 pounds, having a goal can keep you motivated when slacking off begins to look inviting. Talk to a fitness professional, or a friend you know who works out regularly, and set yourself a realistic timetable. Each time you achieve a milestone, your accomplishment will motivate you to push onward to the next one. Before long, you may even be adjusting your goal upward.
Several treadmill reviews have shown workouts on these devices help lower blood pressure and reduce feelings of hypertension in people who work out regularly. However, whether or not you choose to use a treadmill, you must makes sure that you are using appropriate walking or running techniques in order to get the most out of your exercise time. When running or walking on a treadmill make sure you maintain an upright posture, avoid excessive spring in your step and swing your arms in an “L” shape. Doing so will increase the overall muscular and cardiovascular benefits while substantially reducing the chances of back and joint damage.
You Don’t Have To Exercise All At Once
If your problem is time, recent studies have shown that exercising for shorter amounts of time, in several 10-minute periods each day, is just as effective at promoting fitness as exercising in a longer, single period. It’s ideal to get between 3 and 4 quick exercise breaks a day to achieve the full benefit, so plan your day accordingly. Rather than taking your work break in the employee lounge, go for a quick jaunt around the building; or park far enough away from your place of work that it requires a 10-minute walk to reach the building. In nearly any case, fitting 10-minute bursts of exercise into a schedule is far easier than you may think.
Incorporate proper breathing exercises into your routine. Under normal circumstances, people use less than half their lung capacity, which can lead to reduced overall cardiovascular capability and a weakened diaphram. Taking slow deep breaths can be very beneficial in promoting a healthy lifestyle, as it not only offers a score of positive benefits (proper breathing can remove toxins from the body, help improve mental and physical performance, and decrease unwanted stress) but also improves overall lung efficiency, capacity and health. During exercise, taking full breaths that use the entire lung will improve your endurance as well as reducing overall muscle soreness afterward. If you exercise your lungs as efficiently as your body, gasping for breath during and after an intense workout will become a thing of the past.
Stretching your whole body when working out is equally important. Total body stretching can be performed in just a few minutes and should be achieved at least once a day, preferably before exercise in order to increase flexibility and decrease the chances of injury. However, if time is your enemy, the best time to stretch is during your morning routine. Not only will you increase overall blood flow and flexibility throughout the day, but you’ll also reduce any morning grogginess you might feel. The University of Southern California has a great site that features step-by-step demonstration of six simple and easy stretching exercises that you can integrate into your daily exercise routine.
While many people do not have much time in each day to engage in a daily exercise routine, if you are determined to live a healthy lifestyle it can be done with a little effort and perseverance. Ultimately, there are four important concepts to consider when developing healthy lifestyle habits: set yourself goals, stretch every day, practice deep breathing techniques and fit four 10-minute exercise sessions into each day. With these in mind, you can easily create a simplified daily fitness routine and gain lasting health benefits.
Aaron O’Connor is a former track & field athlete, currently a writer and amateur fitness trainer in Washington State.
Photo by SashaW