Easy Ways to Fit In Exercise
If you find that work and family take up virtually all of your time, you might want to consider using weekends for fun athletic activities that all of you can enjoy together. Instead of (or in addition to) taking the kids to regular soccer practice, for instance, you might want to try cross-country skiing (or swimming, perhaps, if you live in too warm a climate for skiing) for the entire family. Even a day of apple picking together will use muscles that may not normally get a workout. Besides, it could also end up being “fun for the whole family,” and just might create lasting memories. You get the idea: Find an activity that you like and can do with your kids, spouse, or friends. Then keep at it (or try a different activity).
Working Out at Work
As you probably already know, there are many ways in which you can get small amounts of exercise throughout your workday. One of the most effective is to take a lunch-hour walk. If you have coworkers who also want to lose weight or stay in shape, taking lunchtime walks together can be a great way to motivate one another and forge friendships.
Don't neglect to eat at lunchtime, too, however. Skipping meals will only make you eat more later and is generally not good for you. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables and small amounts of protein throughout the day, and staying well hydrated, are much more beneficial physically.
Then there are the little “tricks” office workers often use: parking far away from the entrance, if you drive to work, for instance, so that you have to walk a few extra steps. (Of course, you should definitely observe the rules of safety, too. Don't leave your car very far away from the main entrance, especially if you will be arriving or leaving in the dark.) Walking over to coworkers' cubicles to deliver information, instead of sending e-mails. Even getting up every now and then to stretch or do a few quick bounces on your toes will be better for you than just sitting for hours and hours at a time. (It will also help you to avoid repetitive stress injuries and eyestrain from staring at, and typing on, the computer without pause. At the extreme end, inactivity can lead to deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, a dangerous condition resulting from sitting for very long periods without changing position.)
Working Around Work
Other clever ways to get in your exercise include taking half an hour before work in the morning to run or walk, or to do floor exercises (such as push-ups, weightlifting, etc.). Some people even find imaginative ways to exercise while at work. If you normally work at a desk in an office, for instance, you might find that making calls and reading while walking on a treadmill keeps you fit and slim. Many offices offer all kinds of health benefits; gym memberships or on-site health facilities are the most common. If you're not sure what, if anything, your company might offer, ask your human resources person or check your company handbook.
On the other hand, you may not work in an office full-time. You might be in class all day. Of course, if you
If You're Too Depressed to Exercise
Then again, you might have a hard time leaving your home; perhaps, because of your anxieties, you spend most of your time there. Or a depression problem may keep you feeling listless and barely able to move except when absolutely necessary. So what do you do? Well, first of all, if you're so depressed that moving from one room of your home to the next takes virtually all the energy you have, you need to get treatment. Please make an appointment to talk with your therapist or prescribing doctor right away. If you do not yet have one or both of these, please see Chapter 10.