I’m passionate (maybe even a bit fanatic!) about encouraging women to exercise and be physically active as part of their daily lives. It’s not that I’m training for a triathlon or getting ready to run a marathon (believe me, those things will never happen!). It’s just that I’ve learned the power of regular exercise in a woman’s life, and I’ve collected some exercise tips that can help other women learn it too! If you make it a priority to exercise, or simply get up and move your body, every (or almost every) day, you’ll reap tremendous rewards. And by rewards I mean things like feeling better, looking better, maintaining a healthy weight, feeling sexier and managing stress more easily.
The problem, of course, is time. Most women take on too many tasks every day – working, caring for children, teaching, training, transporting, shopping, cleaning – the list goes on and on. They simply can’t find time to exercise. Or so they believe. Friends, I’m going to be blunt here – you do have time to exercise – to get up and move your body – every day, if you make it a priority. And you owe it to your body, mind, spirit, marriage and family to make it a priority. If you’re living a typical busy life, you can make time to exercise every day. You need to do it, and you deserve to do it.
So here are 10 exercise tips for busy women – ways to make time for exercise, even on your busiest days. Try one or two this week, or come up with others that work better for you.
- Walk while your children are at sports practices or other activities. Never sit on the bleachers at soccer, baseball, or football practices! For indoor activities, find a place nearby to walk, maybe just around the block several times.
- Get your family outside for some active fun two or three times a week. Kids love to play Frisbee, soccer, or catch with their parents. Ride bikes together around the neighborhood. Shoot hoops or hit a tennis ball around. On the weekends or when you have a little more time, take a hike or ride bikes on a trail. Get outside and enjoy nature.
- Find a 15- or 20-minute exercise program you can do at home and do it several times a week. You can find hundreds of programs online. Here’s a place to start – Women’s Health Workouts.
- Take regular walks around your neighborhood. If your children are young, load them up in a stroller or wagon. If they’re a little older, let them rides bikes while you walk. And if they’re old enough to stay home alone for a short time, take a walk with your husband. Do it regularly, and it will become a wonderful habit. My husband and I used to walk a circuit around our property and our neighbor’s property every evening while our boys played outside. We just kept circling for about 30 minutes, which sounds boring, but it became a great time for us to talk and spend time together uninterrupted.
- If you work outside your home, take a walk during your lunch hour or find a place in your building to do a light workout.
- Dance! Dance around the house with the kids (they love to see Mom being silly!), dance with a video, dance with your husband.
- Get up 20-30 minutes earlier several days a week and exercise before you start your day.
- If money and your schedule permit, join a fitness center or exercise class. Look for inexpensive options before you join a pricey gym – in my city a large church offers extremely cheap memberships to its fitness center (for anyone, not just church members), and in my sister’s city the local recreation commission operates a reasonably-priced family fitness center.
- Do active chores – garden, rake the yard, wash the car. Get the kids involved. Do the same kinds of chores for an elderly relative or neighbor.
- If you really have difficulty fitting exercise into your schedule, consider investing in a treadmill. Yes, it’s an investment, but it can yield big dividends. We paid about $600 for our treadmill, and it’s probably the best $600 we ever spent. No matter what the weather or time of day, we can always fit in some exercise. My husband watches TV while he walks on the treadmill, and I read a book or my Kindle while I walk.
What are the struggles you face in trying to move your body and be active every day? What strategies have helped you be more active? Please share your ideas in the comments section – I would love to hear from you.
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