Thursday, December 3, 2015

How to squeeze in a little exercise on a busy schedule

December is here; We've had our first little flurries and wet snow, we're well into holiday shopping time. Everyone is busy, rushing around, half anticipating, half dreading all the rich foods and treats that come with the holidays. Now is usually the time people find they're just too busy or too rushed to take care of themselves. Workout/exercise routines get lost in the days. The days are dark and colder... wouldn't you rather bundle up all cozy and warm?

Exercise is a great way to keep warm, you just have to actually do it. Often times when I feel like I'd rather curl up in a cozy ball of blankets on the couch I'll actually force myself to go upstairs and change into yoga wear. By the time I have my gear on - which includes a sports bra and tank or t-shirt - and I'm walking around my house, I feel like I can actually do something. I feel motivated not be lazy because I'm already ready. 

When the mornings and evenings are so dark, it's much better to opt for indoor workouts - for safety reasons. Workout videos - either downloaded, DVDs or YouTube videos - are a great way to keep moving and stay fit. You can exercise on your own time. Even on really busy days you can sneak in 20 minutes of movement. 

Movement tips for those with super busy schedules:

1) Wake up and before getting dressed, go through the motions of 3 Ashtanga Sun Salutations. Move slowly, don't push yourself - this is to help wake you up and warm up your muscles. Don't forget to breathe through them!

2) Have a 10 minute break? Find a room, basement - any floor space - make sure you have a pair of shorts or yoga pants and do a few minutes of animal flow across the room. "Ape" and "Beast" are easy to do in smaller spaces and are great even for beginners. Even 5 minutes can make a huge difference in your day. 

3) Sitting at a desk all day? Sit on a Yoga ball. You can move, rock, sway and engage your core while doing your work. Bounce a little too!

4) Need to stretch your legs? Squeeze in a few squats while you're at it. Go slow. Have a chair to desk in front of you for balance if you need it. Start with 4-8 reps. Click here for proper squatting technique and the awesomeness of squatting!

5) Sitting in front of the TV after a long day? Why not do a plank and hold it for 30 seconds during a commercial break. For each minute of commercials, do 30 seconds of plank. It will help strengthen your core and upper body. Work your way up to 60 seconds. 

As always, I still recommend getting outside during the day. Fresh air feels great and there's no reason to be afraid of the cold if you're dressed for the weather. Get out those leg warmers and bum warmers and boots! Don't forget your scarf, mittens and a hat, and layer up :)