One of the biggest excuses for people for not exercising is that they just don’t have time. Here are some easy ways that the whole family can fit in exercise time. Remember if you workout as a family it will be more fun and provides you with some great family time as well.
Exercise Time for Mornings
• If possible walk the kids to school
• Get out of bed 15 minutes earlier and go for a quick walk
• Get off the bus a few stops earlier
• Park your car further away at work
• Take the stairs whenever possible
• Schedule your next office meeting at a local park if possible
• Do a walk and talk meeting
• When sitting at work take a few minutes to tighten your stomach muscles
• Perform leg and arm stretches from your office chair
• Take some of your lunch break to get in a quick walk
Exercise Time in the Evenings
• Take the family to the park
• Play ball or Frisbee with your kids
• Use the monkey bars at the park to work out on
• Offer to rake leaves and cut the grass
• Become the dog walker
• Be the snow shovelling person
• Take an evening fitness class
• Walk with a good friend before going for a coffee
• Walk around your neighbourhood this is great to do over the holiday season to see all the houses decorated
• Volunteer for a local kids activity group
Best Exercises for Women
Many women prefer to exercise at home or by themselves. This may be because of time constraints or that they are overweight and feel embarrassed about their size.
Following is a list of the best cardio workouts for women. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for women today. Aim for at least 150 minutes of cardio per week.
Walking and Running are still the most popular cardio workouts for women. They don’t require any special equipment and can be done both indoors and outside depending upon the weather. In the winter simply head for your local mall, many malls open up early to allow mall walkers to get their laps in. Be sure to purchase a good pair of walking shoes they will make a huge difference.
Swimming is great for the whole body and is gentle on your joints. When you are swimming you are building your muscle strength and your endurance. If you are trying to lose weight swimming and water aerobic classes are a great choice plus fun to do!
Jump Rope is a great and affordable workout. It can be a little tough on your feet and ankles so if you have any lower joint issues this may not be for you. If you have young children jumping rope with them makes this activity fun for everyone.
Cycling this can be done outdoors by yourself or with your family or indoors on a stationary bike. Spinning classes are increasing in popularity and this trend looks like it is here to stay. Cycling with lower resistance is perfect for anyone with a knee injury. Less resistance allows you to get your leg movement back and helps slowly strengthen your knee muscles and ligaments.
Cross Country Ski-ing this is one of the most popular forms of exercise for woman in Canada. Cross country ski-ing is very easy to learn and can be done in all kinds of places. If you live in the country you could ski around your property or head to a local park and ski there. Of course there are plenty of cross country ski trails and this makes for a great family outing.
Choosing a Sports Bra
One of the hardest things for women is to find a sports bra that works. If your body is not comfortable then it can be really difficult to work out properly. When choosing a sports bra look for names that are recognized as ‘sports bras’. Some great brand names include Shock Absorber and bras manufactured by Nike.
Wearing a good sport bra can help reduce movement of your breasts by up to 79% while you are actually exercising. Therefore it is important to choose a bra for the specific sport you are doing. For instance if you are performing yoga you require a different bra as to someone who is running or doing aerobics.
The next thing you want to consider is what material the bra is constructed from. Does it have breathable material and does it keep moisture away from your skin. You want to choose a bra that is made of durable material and material that dries quickly.
Try the bra on! This step is so important and unfortunately one that many women miss. Take the time to try on the bra at the store. Each brand can vary in their sizes and comfort level. Try on several styles and see which one feels the most comfortable. Move your arms around and trying bending up and down a few times. Your bra shouldn’t ride up or rub your arm pits.
Sports Bra’s come in a variety of styles and colors. Choose something that you like and a bra that makes you feel good. You can choose from low necks,‘t’ straps or even separate straps. Why not pick a bra that matches your workout outfit.
Getting Your Family Moving
Exercise should really be a family affair. Everyone will benefit and it is a great way to spend quality family time together. Exercising will help your children and spouse increase their muscle mass, sleep better, have more energy and build self esteem and confidence.
It is recommended that children in the 5–17 age group get at least 60 minutes of daily activity. The activity level should change and include sports like bike riding, running and swimming. Then for at least 3 days exercises that help strengthen muscles should be included.
How do you fit this in to your day? Take your kids out for an after dinner walk, swim, bike ride or skate depending upon the weather. If your kids participate in sports at school or an after school program they may be fitting in their daily exercise amount.
Another way to have some family exercise time is to purchase one of the Wii Sports games and play this together. Then you have no excuses such as the weather is bad or I can’t get to the gym!
For seniors getting in the recommended amount of exercise can be harder. It is much easier to try and do 5-10 minutes first thing in the morning, then 20 minutes in the afternoon and another 5-10 minutes in the afternoon.
Or on the weekends take your family out to a local park for a walk and then enjoy a healthy picnic lunch!
Using a Pedometer to Exercise
One very inexpensive tool is a pedometer and this is a great way to keep track of how much exercise you do each day. A pedometer will measure your daily steps and this can then convert into just how active you are.
• 5,000 steps or less = Sedentary
• 5,000 to 7,500 = Low Activity
• 7,501 to 9,999 = Somewhat Active
• 10,000 to 12,499 = Active
• 12,500 and up = Very Active
From this chart you can see why many sources recommend that you get in at least 10,000 steps per day.
You can purchase a pedometer from places like Wal-Mart, Amazon and Sports Stores both on and off line. For under $20 you can easily purchase a good pedometer and one that will help calculate the amount of calories you burn each day as well.
How to Use Your Pedometer Effectively
Put your pedometer on first thing in the morning. Just leave it in your bathroom and then you can simply clip it on while getting dressed. Keep your pedometer on all day and check it every couple of hours. At first just record the number of steps that you take until you literally get into bed at night. This will be your starting base.
After recording your steps the first time you might be surprised at just how inactive you are. Maybe you only recorded 3,000 steps. If this is the case don’t worry, just work on increasing the number each day. Why not keep a journal and record the number of steps taken. Do this over a month’s time and you can really see how much you progress in a month.
To increase the number of steps you take each day keep checking your pedometer every 2 hours. Then make a point of adding another couple of hundred steps. This could be done by walking to the mail box, walking up and down your basement stairs or just taking your dogs out for a bathroom break!
If you are working why not get together with a group of friends and have a pedometer challenge? Joining a walking program is another great option. The American Heart Association can help you find walking paths across the U.S.