If you were told there is a new drug that could help you live longer, make you feel better mentally and physically, help you lose weight, improve your sleep, boost your confidence, improve your sex life and make you more efficient at work – all without negative side effects – would you not want to be the first to try this drug? Actually, this “drug” exists not as a pill but in the form of EXERCISE. Though most of us know the benefits of exercising regularly, many of us fall back on the excuse, ‘I don’t have time’.
Let’s take a look at a city as busy as Lagos where you leave the house as early as 5am, and won’t get back home until 8pm. You are already so tired when you return home that you don’t even think of anything else apart from grabbing dinner and getting a good night’s sleep. This goes on for months and years until your body can’t take it anymore and you fall ill. This can be avoided as there are many things that constitute exercise that can be done during the day without making elaborate plans.
Here are some tips on how to fit exercise into your daily routine without disrupting your schedule:
- Exercise every morning: There are many exercise routines to do in just 10 minutes that will prepare you for the activities of the day. Some examples are: Sit-ups, Push-ups, Squats, Planks etc.
- Walking: Walking is the easiest and most popular way to increase your daily physical activity. Try walking briskly to and fro the bus stop on your way to and from work. You might want to put your shoes in the bag and wear something more comfortable for this.
- Use the stairs: No need to take the elevators if you work on the 3rd or 5th floor, make use of the stairs and sweat it out. Likewise if you work on the 16th floor, take the stairs to the 10th and help yourself with the elevator if you get too exhausted.
- Take a break: If you work in a bank or in a setting where you sit for long hours, stand up at intervals to stretch or take a stroll. Take as little as 5 or 10 minutes off work 3 to 4 times before the close of work daily.
- Use night time: Remember to end the day with exercise. You can do squats or planks while watching your favourite TV programmes at night.
- The weekend is your friend: Weekends shouldn’t just come and go. Make use of them. Put on your sport wear, get on the road and do a little light jogging around your area. You can also make it a social activity by going to the stadium or a place where other people gather to exercise. Remember to make it fun! You can listen to music while doing this.
- Chore time is exercise time: Do chores around your house; wash your car yourself instead of taking it to the car wash, clean the windows, do laundry etc. If you put enough of these small activities together over the course of a week it will add up to enough activity to keep you healthy until your schedule can change.
The benefits of daily exercise cannot be overemphasized because it gives a sense of general wellbeing that helps you to be more productive and efficient throughout the day. I hope you found this article helpful enough to get you on the exercise lane this week? Welcome to the exercise life; welcome to the good life.
About the Writer: Afolabi Yusuf Abdulsalam is a Physiologist and a Fitness Instructor. He can be found on Twitter @HzRoyalEminence