Early in the month I mentioned that we’d talk in November about the three basic components of exercise: cardio, strength and flexibility.
You and I both know that all three are important, but most of us don’t have several hours a day to work out (or even ONE hour).
So, how do you fit it all in?
First things first. Don’t think in terms of absolute. As in, I absolutely have to do 30 minutes of cardio, 30 minutes of strength and 30 minutes of flexibility. And definitely not all three everyday. That’s not realistic or even advisable. And who’s to say you have to do it all at once? Even if you work out early in the day, no one says you can’t take a walk after dinner. Or how about starting out the day getting up a bit earlier to do 20 minutes of yoga?
Here are my suggestions to make it work:
1. Decide upon your goals. Want to lose weight? You’ll probably spend a bit more time on cardio. Need to tone up? It’s important to get enough strength training in each week. Feeling sore? Back pain? Increase flexibility work – yoga is perfect for those issues.
2. Decide how much time you can devote to exercise each week. Maybe it’s 30 minutes a day most days, but you could squeeze in an extra twenty here or there.
3. Looking at your goals and your available time, put together a program that will help you achieve what you want without burning out in the process. For some people it might be 5 days of cardio, 2 days of strength training and stretching for a few minutes most days. For someone else, three days of cardio and three days of strength training – it really varies a LOT by person. Someone who is just starting out could begin with three days of walking and a couple of days of light weights or yoga and see some pretty quick improvements.
4. Schedule those times on your weekly calendar as appointments – non negotiable appointments!
5. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day. It’s not the end of the world, just pick yourself up and do better the next day. Over time, consistent exercise will become as routine as brushing your teeth. You’ll be used to it, you’ll feel better, so you’ll WANT to get your workout in.