By Daniel, LifeShape Clinic Exercise Physiologist Coordinator
When trying to establish an exercise routine, the most common barrier that people report is not having enough time. Time is the most valuable asset we have and we all wish we could have more of it. Unfortunately, time is not something that we can increase. However, we can try to be more efficient with the time we have.
Step #1 Change your attitude
One barrier that we can change, is our attitude towards exercise. The first step is to disassociate any previous ideas that you have about what exercise is. The definition of exercise is any planned activity, undertaken for the purpose of increasing or maintaining health and fitness.
This shows us that there is a broad spectrum of what one can do for exercise. We can now think about exercise for what it really is – the ongoing maintenance or improvement of health and physical function. You don’t have to be working towards running a marathon or training to lift twice your body weight, as long as you’re doing something! This statement does not insinuate that there is anything wrong with having goals in terms of fitness and performance – but don’t let that steer you away from the main benefits of exercise.
Step #2 add it to your routine
Something else to consider when discussing exercise, is that routine or habit is key in continuing to get the most out of exercise. In this regard, your routine must be manageable and maintainable. Habituation is the most important factor in any routine. If we set goals that are unattainable, we don’t give ourselves a chance to progress onto more incrementally difficult goals once we are comfortable with maintaining the routine we already have.
12 simple ways to increase your daily exercise
The following are 12 exercise ideas that combine general activities of everyday life when increasing or maintain physical strength and fitness.
- Leave the car at home for short trips and walk or ride a bike instead
- Park the car further away from your destination
- Get off the bus or train a stop early
- Take the stairs instead of the escalator or lift
- Wash the car yourself
- Get out in the garden
- Play with the kids after school
- Take up physical activities that force you to walk such as golf or walking the kids to and from school
- Start cycling or walking to work or to the shops on the weekend
- Use a standing desk
- Walk to speak to your colleague instead of sending an email or instant message
- Finding it hard to keep exercising? Choose an exercise you enjoy or try walking with a family member or friend
Some of these ideas will give you greater health and fitness benefit compared to others. For example, walking further from your car to your destination will generally not be as long in duration or as high an intensity as going for a planned walk with a friend or partner BUT you will still burn more calories and have more functional benefits than if you park your car right outside the door!
If you’re looking for a way to improve your physical activity or nutrition, the LifeShape Clinic will tailor a program to your needs.
The LifeShape Clinic
Over 15 years, the LifeShape Clinic (formerly Wesley LifeShape Clinic) has helped more than 10,000 Australians achieve healthier, happier lives through their award winning weight management programs. The LifeShape program enables the lifestyle and health benefits gained from losing weight, improving your health and gaining a positive mindset.
The clinic’s team of specialist medical professionals support each client by creating a personalised weight loss plan to reach a healthy weight, improve nutrition, exercise and mindset – helping to find balance and break the dieting cycle.
Find out how the clinic can help you achieve your health and wellness goals.