When You Don’t Have Time to Exercise

Everyone knows that exercise is good for you. In fact, many people are convinced that exercise is so beneficial that, as long as they exercise hard, they can eat anything they want and still stay healthy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. You can be extremely fit, yet very unhealthy on the inside, as the recent massive heart attack of “Greatest Loser” trainer Bob Harper demonstrated. Dr. Michael Greger likes to say “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet”. We are also learning, that sitting too long is as bad for you as smoking, increasing your risk of heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases. As if that isn’t bad enough, studies have shown that the adverse effects of sitting too long cannot be reversed by exercise or other good habits. If you are seated for long periods of time, get up and walk around for a couple of minutes at least several times every hour. The American Academy of Sports Medicine recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Although we should strive for this, don’t just give up if you don’t have that much time. Exercise is all about establishing a habit and doing it regularly. Once you form the habit, you will want to exercise and will miss it when you don’t. So, establish the habit to do a small amount of exercise, and do it consistently. That usually works better than biting off more than you can chew: starting off with intense exercise, followed by sore muscles, and then giving up. Once you are regularly doing some exercise, you can increase the time you spend. Our lives are so busy, that for many of us, it’s hard to find the time to exercise. I know that if I exercise first thing in the morning, it is much more likely to happen. You get your blood flowing and gain energy for the day, as well as that great feeling that you can check that box. Even a small amount is better than nothing. While traveling, that may mean running up and down stairs for 10 minutes if a hotel doesn’t have a gym. At home, it may mean a quick 10 or 15-minute yoga class on my iPhone. The good news is that even short workouts, can improve our fitness substantially. There’s very good evidence that high-intensity interval training provides many of the fitness benefits of prolonged endurance exercise, but in much less time, says Chris Jordan, co-author of “High-intensity circuit training using body weight: Maximum results with minimal investment”. The 7-minute workout they used requires no equipment, other than a chair and a wall. The New York Times has created two free mobile apps inspired by this research: the Scientific 7-Minute Workout and the new Advanced 7-Minute Workout. So the bottom line is, that there really is no excuse not to do some exercise. Give this quick routine a try if you are short on time. To help get you motivated, join me in the 30-Day, 7-Minute Exercise Challenge! Read more about the challenge and how to sign up below… Note: If you have not been exercising, or are not used to high-intensity exercise, please consult your physician before starting this or any exercise program.

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