We all live such busy lives. I definitely can remember the days when I worked full time, had two toddlers running around, and tried to volunteer at their school all while making their food and taking care of the house. I for one found that the one thing I was desperately trying to fit into my schedule was time to exercise. Most of the time, including the gym meant finding time that simply did not exist. Some of the healthiest, most fit people never make it to the gym. Trust me, if you are one of those people who can find the time to make it to the gym – great! Since I could not, I tried to create a lifestyle where I included exercise into my daily routine. Don’t think that every celebrity with a great body is killing herself in the gym for two or three hours a day.
I think sometimes the difference between a tone body and a not so tone body is just the habits we create in our everyday life. It is much easier than you probably realize. It starts out feeling like a little bit of work, but after a while my suggestions to you will just become habits. After several months of incorporating these habits, you will see a remarkable difference on how you feel and how tone your body is. The best part is you’ll no longer feel guilty or stress over finding time to get into the gym!
We have members who have gone from out of shape bodies to very tone bodies just by making this one change. In fact, I work with one client who lives in Manhattan – on the 20th floor! She thought I was crazy when I told her that if she has the time she should use the stairs over the elevator. She couldn’t do it every day because of her schedule but she did it when she had the time. Just through this one change she lost 10 pounds over a few months and couldn’t believe how tone her body became. She admitted to me that she couldn’t do all 20 floors when she first started and she had to build up to it. So baby steps, my friends. Start to get into the habit of avoiding elevators and escalators. When you have the choice, always opt for the stairs.
You may think I’m crazy but I always recommend people park their car far away from the entrance. I do recommend this for two reasons. Number one, it is stressful driving around parking lots looking for the spot closest to the entrance. Number two it is not the best option for a tone body. My advice is to park as far as you can and power walk to the entrance. Leave the closer spots for the people who don’t care about their physique. Begin to do this at your office, your home, when you go out to dinner, anywhere. Just begin to park as far away as possible. Ignore the complaining of friends and family that are with you. Just remind them that you have your health and their health in mind.
3. Get Up
There’s been a recent attack on sitting. We all spend so much time at our desks, it can’t be any surprise that rates of obesity and heart disease keep rising. There have been many studies conducted showing that too much sitting can lead to disability as we get older, significantly increases our risk of diabetes and heart disease. They now make standing desks where you can adjust them to allowing you to stand at your desk to work rather than sitting all day. I know not everyone will have access to fancy standing desks but everyone can make little adjustments. Experts suggest at the very least taking a moving break twice an hour to stretch and let your body move around. So rather than calling or emailing a colleague, maybe get up and go talk to them.
4. Power Walking
For the majority of my adult life, it was very difficult for me to find the time to get on the treadmill or go for a run. What was easy for me to do was to toss my sneakers in a bag and carry them with me wherever I go. This way whenever I had a little break in my day I would put on my sneakers and power walk. I would this even if it was for only 15-20 minutes or whatever you have the time for. Make a habit of carrying your sneakers around with you everywhere you go. Toss your heels in your backpack and power walk in your sneakers. There are days when I have two hours and days when I have 15 minutes. When you have to run errands, for instance if you find yourself at the mall wear your sneakers and power walk while you get your errands done. If you have to drop your children off at a sports event, dance recital or anything else rather than going home why not hang out and power walk for that hour. You might look a little silly but you won’t look silly when beach season comes around! I am sure that, once you get in this habit, you will find more time than you realize to power walk. Even if some weeks it is just once or twice a week, it is better than nothing. If you live in a city like I do you can even play your day so you can power walk rather than taking the subway or bus.
5. TV Watching
I’m not going to tell you not to watch television but I am going to ask you to find thirty minutes and just do strength exercises at home. That is one episode of TV and you can fit in a surprising amount of exercise. I personally know so many people that are part of our program and they have so much trouble getting to the gym. BUT they can find the time to do just 30 or 40 minutes of strength exercises at home. Finding the time to include these exercises in your home will make a world of difference in how tone your body is. You don’t need a big gym with tons of equipment, you don’t even need to think about how cute your workout gear is – just a little bit of space in your own home. If we just give up one episode a few days a week, we can all get a lot of work done on our body. Include the following as part of your strength routine: dips, squats, planks, push-ups, and crunches. And hey, you can always record it or watch in on demand.
Have fun with it. The whole point of this is to just get you to realize that just because you don’t have time for the gym doesn’t mean you can’t get some exercise in. Be creative and get moving. Maybe keep some light dumbbells under your bed and squeeze in some reps right when you wake up in the morning. Use it as an excuse to take a break from whatever you’re doing at home and go outside and run around with your kids – they’ll love it and so will your body! Just get moving whenever you have time!