Trouble Getting To The Gym? Learn How To Incorporate Physical Activity Into Your Daily Life
Trying to squeeze a workout into a busy schedule can feel impossible. It’s easy to come up with a perfectly reasonable explanation for why you just can’t fit in fitness. For women, there are often extra hurdles, whether it’s a new baby, lack of time or self-confidence, or limitations because of an injury.
But no matter where you are in life or how you feel, you can exercise and get healthier. Personal trainer Neva Avery and fitness instructor Lauren Rosella offer practical ways to overcome common obstacles to physical fitness.
I’m a Busy Mom
“Women in general prioritize their families over themselves most of the time, so making time to exercise is very difficult,” says Rosella, an instructor at REX Wellness Center of Garner.
Setting aside time to exercise can be a challenge. Try using a little creativity to get the most out of your time:
– Put your baby in a stroller and go for a walk. It gets you both out of the house and gets your blood pumping a bit. Bad weather? Try finding a place where you can walk inside with a stroller.
– Download an exercise mobile app or free workouts online. You can do quick workouts in the comfort of your home or on the go if you’re traveling.
– Many gyms have child care, so bring the kids with you while you work out.
– Use a personal trainer who can help you stay accountable. If you have an appointment, you may be more likely to stick to it.
– Stay active when your kids are active. If you’re taking your kids to a sports practice, walk laps around the field or exercise while you’re there.
– Have a backup express routine for moments when you can only find a few minutes to exercise. Do a set of body-weight squats or push-ups and add in some planks to strengthen your core.
I Have Too Much to Do at Work
If you can’t get in a workout before or after work, Rosella recommends using your lunch break to get in some exercise. “Bring a very quick lunch and then walk for the remainder of your break,” she says.
If you’re on a deadline and can’t leave, try to get up and move around. “If you’re sitting several hours at a time at a desk, moving is important,” Avery says. “Maybe program it on the computer as a reminder every couple of hours to get up and walk around for five to 10 minutes.”
You can also look for places to add movement throughout your day, like taking the stairs instead of an elevator or parking your car farther from your office.
Gyms Intimidate Me
“I find that usually when people are self-conscious, it’s really just because of a lack of knowledge of what to do,” Avery says. “Once they learn what to do and how, it helps take away that barrier.”
Working with a personal trainer also can help build confidence. “Work with a trainer for just three to four sessions to develop a workout program for you,” Avery says. “Learn how to do exercises properly and how to use the equipment correctly.”
Sometimes people start a regular exercise routine but then get injured, not necessarily from working out. When you’ve got an injury, it’s easy to quit your fitness program, but you don’t have to – you just need to make adjustments. “I encourage people to work around their injuries, if possible, so they can continue that habit of being active,” Avery says. “If you fall out of the habit of showing up and doing some sort of activity, it’s hard to get back in the groove.”
Talk to your doctor about what exercise is safe for your injury. Personal trainers can help you check your form to avoid aggravating problems.
Exercising during pregnancy offers many benefits. It helps pre-
pare you for the rigors of labor and delivery, can help relieve pregnancy aches and pains, and lifts your mood.
There are resources through birthing centers and hospitals to help pregnant women stay active. For instance, prenatal yoga programs are great options for women during all stages of their pregnancies, as long as their doctors sign off that they are safe to do it. Always check with your health care provider before starting, continuing, or changing an exercise routine when you’re pregnant.
I Don’t Know How to Start
Rosella says when it comes to fitness, it’s important to take small steps first. Start with reasonable goals and expectations. For example, she says, begin by getting 20 minutes of exercise three days a week, then add 10 more minutes in four weeks.
“Once you’ve established a routine, it’s easier to add in an additional day here and there,” she says. “Starting small is the best way to set yourself up for success.”
REX Wellness Centers
REX Wellness Centers has locations across the Triangle, including in Raleigh, Wakefield, Cary, Garner and Knightdale.