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Simply Fit, by Cindy Haskin-Popp, will help you make physical activity a part of everyday life. The health benefits of regular exercise and overall daily physical activity will be discussed. Fun, practical and easy-to-follow tips on an exercise program will be shared, as will the most current research. Fitness tips for families and seniors, on fitness centers and on buying proper and affordable equipment will be regularly given. 

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fitness in a "Crunch"

     Lack of time came out as the winner in my opinion poll regarding your biggest barrier to exercise.  Fifty-two percent of you voted that it was a factor affecting exercise adherence.  Follow these tips to fit in exercise when you are experiencing a time "crunch":

At the Office:
1.  Turn your office chair into a multi-station "gym"*
a.  Keep a set of free weights in your office to perform biceps 
      curls, triceps press, shoulder press, etc. while sitting 
      at your desk
b.  Perform seated leg lifts while talking on the phone
c.  Do chair squats while typing on the computer
d.  Perform toe raises by holding on to the back of the chair 
      for stability while dictating (NOTE: do not use a chair 
      with wheels for support)
e.  Do chair push-ups on the back of a chair that is pushed 
      against the wall (again, do not use a chair with wheels 
      for support) while waiting for your meeting to begin
2.  Brown bag lunch and leave it in the car.  This will allow you 
      to squeeze in some walking while you go outside to get your 
      lunch.  Before going back in to eat, take a few laps around 
      the building.
3.  Engage in active forms of commute
a.  Walk with co-workers to a nearby restaurant instead of 
b.  Ride your bike to work
4.  Engage in "active" meetings with co-workers and/or clients.  
a.  Discuss business while on the stationary bike in a gym or on the 
      golf course instead of meeting at a coffee shop.
b.  Walk the halls of the office building with co-workers while 
      discussing projects
5.  Hand deliver messages rather than sending an email

At Home:
1.  Turn your home computer chair into a multi-station "gym" 
      while answering emails and surfing the net (see list of 
      suggested exercises under number 1 above)
2.  Make the most of household chores
a.  Hand wash dishes instead of using dishwasher
b.  Take several small loads of laundry up and down the 
      stairs or to and from the laundry room instead of one
      trip with a big load
c.  Rake yard waste instead of using lawn mower to 
      pick up debris
3.  Walk around the house or complete housework while on 
      the phone with friends/family

     By following the tips outlined above you will be able to increase the amount of physical activity that you engage in throughout the day.  Ideally, these tactics should be used as a supplement to a structured exercise routine.  However, when time is an issue, engaging in some activity is better than none.

*For information regarding these exercises refer to ACSM's Fitness Book, 3rd. edition

NOTE:  Before beginning an exercise program or increasing the intensity level of a current routine, a physician's approval should be obtained, especially for older adults and those at risk for or who currently have chronic health conditions.

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