by Lorraine Breau-Thompson, PT
As we all know, exercise is very important to our physical and mental well-being. When it is not already part of our daily routine, getting started can be challenging. It is easy to find excuses why we don’t have the time for anything extra in our day, especially with the realities of work, child-rearing, housework, energy levels, etc.
Exercise doesn’t have to be an organised class or gym routine. It can be added in as simply as walking a little extra, such as parking farther from the door when going somewhere, walking during your lunch break or perhaps even convincing co-workers to walk during a meeting. If you are at home with young children, try going for a nice walk or run with the stroller, a bike ride or pulling them in a sled. This will also show them the pleasure of an active lifestyle. There are many television and on-line exercise programs to suit all interests. Some like to purchase DVDs or even just make up their own routine based on exercises they have enjoyed in the past. Exercise does not always need structure. You might need to shovel snow, mow the lawn, run a lot of errands on a given day. Some people like keeping exercise elastic bands tied to a door or railing in plain sight so that they will do a few exercises whenever they walk by it. Others will practice standing on one foot or doing squats while talking on the phone or waiting for water to boil in the kitchen. If you are forced to be more sedentary due to an injury or medical condition, you can usually still do gentle exercises while sitting (unless your medical doctor has instructed you not to).
Whatever the motivating factor, try to squeeze in a few extra movements in your day – you will feel great for doing it!