Getting What You Need
What sort of exerciser are you? Do you have a set routine? If you don't get that done, do you feel like you haven't worked out? Do you think exercise only happens at the gym or on a treadmill? What happens on busy days, or long travel day?
Last year, I posted a question on LinkedIn. I asked why people don't exercise regularly, given what we know about the benefits. I got a lot of interesting, insightful answers. I also got quite a few angry responses about how they are simply too busy (I couldn't possibly understand that....) to go to the gym every day - they've got important things to do (as though their health isn't important)!
All too often people have a set and surprisingly rigid idea of what exercise is. They go to the gym for an hour, or watch the morning news while walking on the treadmill. These are great things, but what happens if it's not possible? Should we just accept the idea we can't exercise that day, re-double our efforts tomorrow?
I was thinking about this during the last several days. Besides not getting my usual workouts because I've been sick with Lyme disease, I've had several long days with lots of things scheduled. And I had a couple of long travel days to go see my eldest niece graduate (congrats Megan, so proud of you!!).
It would be so easy to write off those days for exercise! I don't have time.
Instead, I accepted I wouldn't get an ideal workout, but got what I could. On Tuesday, I found myself with a half hour between appointments. Instead of going to Starbucks for coffee or looking at shoes I didn't need, I headed into Central Park for a walk. Between that and walking to and from my car, I logged in around 2 miles.
Between long lines, the TSA, layovers, and delayed flights, it's pretty much guaranteed that if you have to fly somewhere, you're going to have a long day with a lot of down time. It's easy to mindlessly endure the lines and just slump down in a chair once at the gate. It's easy to find the whole experience exhausting.
I know how this is; I had several very busy years touring as a musician, sometimes spending as much as a third of my year on the road. I found that if I did whatever I could to move a little bit, I generally felt better. So, for this last trip, I had a layover in Charlotte in which I had to get from one end of the airport to the terminal at the complete other end. That's fine - I walked. And no, I didn't use the moving sidewalks. I walked the whole way; I took the stairs.
That's the obvious one - walk (and not just to the Cinnabon). A few other ideas: think about how you're standing while you're going through the security line. Are you standing tall, with your core engaged? Or are you slouching with your belly hanging out? When you're taking a bus or train, try standing even if there are seats. Keeping yourself steady as you bump along will put your core muscles and legs to work. OK, do this only if you have pretty good balance and have a rail to hold on to.
No, none of this is the same as running 10 miles, but it's not bad for a day in which there was no time for exercise.
And remember, the health benefits from exercise are cumulative. The recommendations from the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, and the US Dept. of Health and Human Services, are to get 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days per week. But they don't say you have to do it all at once. You can split it up into smaller segments. It's the total activity for the day that's important.
So, you have a busy day? With some creative thinking, you still might just get what you need.
- BY Julie Goodale | 06.08.2011
- Share This :
- « Prev
Comments : (0) | Post Comment