Exercise for busy people
May 5, 1999
(WebMD) -- People come up with all sorts of excuses not to work out, says Jennifer Funk, a personal trainer at Resort to Fitness, an all-women's health-and-fitness club in Portland, Oregon. These excuses range from the serious, "I'm really too tired after work," to the absurd, "my cat misses me when I'm not at home."
But by far the most common excuse is simply not having enough time to exercise. And though she admits that some individuals truly can't find the time to get to the gym, in most cases it's a question of commitment to a goal. "If you set [fitness] as a goal in your daily life, then you'll find the time," says Funk.
Depending on what you're looking for, whether it's to lose body fat or to gain a little muscle, there are workouts for people who can only fit half an hour or so of exercise into their schedule.
For the person who truly cannot find time to get to a gym, Funk offers exercise suggestions for a short break or lunch hour:
"With rubber bands there's a lot of different stuff you can do that's just as hard as with light weights and probably a little bit safer," says Funk. She suggests stretching your legs and back by placing one loop of the rubber band under your feet while holding the other end close to your chest.
Other rubber-band exercises that can be done within a few feet from your desk are bicep curls, leg extensions and leg curls. Most sporting goods stores have these larger-sized rubber bands available.
According to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) report, studies have shown that stretching exercises can be beneficial when performed consistently and correctly. Here is a list of stretches that can be done during a work break, while viewing TV, or while watching the kids:
Hold arms in front, turn trunk to the right. Repeat, this time to the left. With hands on hips, bend trunk to the left, then to the right. With one hand resting on the other, raise arms above head until palms face upward. With hands behind head, slowly stretch elbows back.
According to the NIH, "A person burns up only a small amount of calories with daily activities such as sitting. Any physical activity in addition to what you normally do will burn up extra calories." Try bicycling to work, asking your spouse to watch the kids for half an hour while you jog, or taking a walk during your lunch hour to burn calories.
Finding time to get a little exercise is not an easy thing to do, but it is important, so try your best to make a commitment and stick to it. If you find that you are unable to set aside a half hour of your time, break out those rubber bands and walking shoes for the time you can spare!
Copyright 1999 by WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved.
National Institutes of Health
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