How to Incorporate Exercise in Your Schedule

We’ve all had that unending task reminder of exercising or signing up for a gym membership (or even using an existing one already). However with all our busy schedules, it can be quite difficult and challenging to squeeze in just a few minutes worth of exercise in our daily lives. Instead of finding excuses to postpone that healthy exercise, here are some tips how you can incorporate exercise into your schedule.

What is Exercise

To define terms, we’ll start with defining what counts as exercise. Every time someone mentions the word exercise, we immediately think of sweat, free weights, and a sweaty-smelling gym. However, experts have all agreed that exercise is an activity that increases your heart rate. In this matter, anything can count as exercise as long as we do it with increased intensity or with more repetition. Even if an activity just lasts for 10 minutes, as long as it is done using a lot of energy then it counts as an exercise. In fact, the recommended length of cardiovascular exercise recommended by health professionals is 30 minutes in a day. It can be too much for working individuals, but if you break it up into 10-minute routines, then it can be more manageable.

Playing

Yes, it sounds very simple and childish, but adults have much difficulty letting their inner child run loose. What you can do is to play with your kids or dog. This way, you won’t feel embarrassed when you run and frolic around. There are a lot of children’s games which you can play with your children (or grandchildren) that will really take a lot out of you. You can even do something simple yet physically demanding, like taking a brisk walk or playing outside with your dog. In addition to all that exercise time, you can also connect with them emotionally.

Power Cleaning

Cleaning your house can seem like a chore, with all that sweeping, mopping and vacuuming. You’re stuck with those chores anyway, so why not turn it into an aerobic workout? To start with, you can add walking lunges while you vacuum or dust. You can also speed up the pace while you’re doing your chores. Even if you’re not moving like washing the dishes, you can challenge yourself by doing it while standing on one leg for the entire duration of the chore. It takes a bit of practice, but once you incorporate it into your routine, cleaning will never be the same for you.

While you’re waiting for the laundry to finish up or while waiting for dinner to cook, you can also do some stretching. It’s not that strenuous, but a little goes a long way and it doesn’t involve you leaving your task at hand.

Even if you’re just shoveling snow, it can also be a very good opportunity to burn more calories than usual. You can challenge yourself to shovel the entire driveway in a given time, and you can also put on headphones and listen to upbeat music to get your pace going. For a bonus, you can even shovel the driveway of your neighbors (if they deserve it).

Dance

You’re never too old to dance. Spending just 10 minutes in a day rocking out to your favorite tunes in the privacy of your own room can be good for your heart. In addition, music is always good for the soul.

Office Exercise

If you’re working full time, sparing just 10 minutes from 9 to 5 can be difficult to imagine. However that doesn’t mean that there are not any hopes of exercise. For example, you can bike to and from work. If you need to bring a car with you, you can opt to park a few blocks away from the office to include a vigorous walk in your day. During your breaks, you can spend 10 minutes walking up and down the stairs. Of course, the cliché of using stairs instead of elevators is always very fruitful in terms of spending energy. Instead of waiting inside a box, you can raise your heart rate by using the stairs. If the distance between floors is too much, you can walk 1 or 2 flights of stairs then use the elevator the rest of the way.

Another way you can exercise in the workplace is when you use the restroom that is further away from you. This will incorporate a few minutes’ worth of walking into your schedule, not to mention it will keep you awake when you’re bored. If you find yourself stuck in a meeting, you can still do exercise in it. While you’re sitting in your comfortable chair, you can tense your abdominal and buttocks muscles for a few seconds, and then relax it. Do this for a couple of times to tone your muscles in the lower region.

Morning Exercise

It can be a struggle to wake up early in the morning, especially when you know you’re waking up earlier just to exercise. What you can do is to use the “one push-up technique”. In this technique, you do one push-up when you wake up. It starts like this for a couple of days. When your mind is used to doing a push-up in the morning, you can increase the number of push-ups to a number you’re comfortable with, and is allowable with your time. After a couple of days, you will be able to do a full workout routine from the morning. Aside from having a sense of accomplishment, you’ll also have more energy for the rest of the day.

Car Wash

Washing a car can be a tedious chore, but you can still add exercise into it. You can do calf raises when you reach the roof of the car, and you can even do some squats when you wash the tires. As you repeatedly apply wax on and wipe the wax off, you’ll give your whole body a workout. As an added bonus, you can save money by skipping the car wash entirely.

Shopping Exercises

Even if you’re shopping for groceries or clothing apparel, it means that you’ll have to do some walking. To boost the amount of calories you will burn, you can opt to park in a parking spot further from the store entrance and avoid escalators or elevators. With those bags of groceries you will be carrying, that extra walk will definitely help you burn more calories as well as give your muscles a well-needed exercise.

With a little imagination and an open mind, you can easily incorporate exercise into your busy schedule. It doesn’t need to be that stressful and you do not have to use special equipment; you can make simple tasks like household chores in a more rigorous way by changing the pace and by pitting yourself against the clock. Just remember that all you need is 10-minute energy bursts in any activity and you’re sure to get your daily workout.

Helping Your Child’s Career

Picture this: a successful young professional is looking for a job in a city far from his hometown. He brings along his two parents so that they can approve his career choice and even the place he will stay in. It sounds like it came from a TV sitcom, but the reality is that it is happening far too often than we realize it. Professionals from the younger generation always seem to rely too much on their parents for almost everything – career included. They are not entirely to blame though, since the parents also watch over everything their children do with so much focus that the children don’t have any room to exercise their freedom of choice in anything. If you’re a parent that is nervous about your children’s life, then it might be time to step back and follow these tips to help your child’s career without keeping a tight rein on him.

Nurture Their Interests

You should understand that each child is a unique individual with their own values, interests, strengths, abilities, and weaknesses. Just because you were good at math doesn’t mean that your child will ‘grow into it later’ or something like that. While your child is young, you might have already noticed what their interests are, and your role as a parent is to nurture these to help them tap into their potential. For example, if your child has an artistic side, then pushing them towards the medical sciences might not be a very reasonable idea. Of course, it can be daunting for your part, especially if you don’t know much about certain careers related to certain interests. You can do some research on your own as your child grows up so you will have a good idea about their possible career options.

Visit the Guidance Office

In other schools, it may be called the college career office. Nevertheless, you should encourage your child to visit it as early as possible so that they will have an idea of their own about career options, internship opportunities, and if there is any career planning assistance offered by the school. This can help empower your child at the same time allowing him to receive advice from another adult so that they know this information is valid and comes from experience in the real world.

Use Local Networks

Talk to your circle (friends, colleagues, and relatives) about your child’s job concerns. It might seem like you’re doing the work, but it helps your child get their first experience with employment. For example, you could talk to the local grocery where you frequently shop if they are hiring any new hands or something like that. If they have some entry-level work open, you should inform your child so that they will be the one to send the application and prepare for the interview – not you. This is part of letting your child experience what it’s like to prepare for a job and succeed (or fail) depending on the circumstances.

Prepare Paperwork

In this part, you can use your experience and knowledge to help your child prepare his own paperwork. It could be the necessary information for writing a resume, or for a job application. After they have finished drafting their first ever resume or application letter, help your child by proofreading it for them, making sure they have no typographical or grammatical errors. If your child needs any legal documents, then point them in the right way but don’t do everything for them. They need to know what it’s like dealing with government offices and the process of getting legal documents of any kind.

Assist with Preparations

You can talk to your child about what to wear for the interview day, what to expect, and any tips or tricks you know of what will help them get that job with ease. You’ve been there before, so you know that nerves and stomach butterflies can be a deadly combination. Helping them practice or prepare for this job application will help them get comfortable with the application process and help keep them relaxed. If your child can’t drive, don’t immediately offer to take them to and from the interview location. Instead, you can assist with coordinating transport like finding out what public transportation they need to take.

Give Free Space but Push

Let your child find their own career path that they are very interested in doing. Even if it’s just their first part time job or volunteer work, let them choose it on their own free will and let them work for it by themselves. It can be difficult for parents to simply sit by the sidelines and watch their children fail, but its part of growing up and your child needs to experience that, so that they will learn from it and grow to be independent individuals.

We said to give free space, but there are times when parents need to push their children to start finding jobs on their own. You can do this by stressing the importance of finding a job with his/her own efforts, but don’t overdo the financial support part. It might be more motivating for your child if they are in charge of one utility bill (like water, gas) in the house.

Instill Good Work Ethics

Regardless of what other people say, good work ethics actually start at home. This can be instilled by you when your child does household chores or even schoolwork. A positive attitude towards your child’s own responsibilities and developing good habits for these are essential. Teach your child the value of hard work, perseverance, motivation and the ability to bounce back from failures by setting reasonably high standards. Remember that even if your child fails, you should always be there to nurture them.

Explore Job Trends Together

As you’ve noticed, we included the word ‘together’. When your child expresses interest for this career field, take time to read together with your child about future job market trends. You can read up together whether these jobs will be obsolete in the future or if it will have a positive forecast. You can check the more detailed information like average income, job hours, working environments and work benefits. After this, you can sit down with your child and discuss what the two of you think about this career field. Your role as a parent is to help your child if the career field they choose can translate into a paying job or not. In addition, you should also understand that there are other meaningful careers out there, it may not be conventional ones like doctors or engineers.

As parents, helping your child’s career can be a difficult task. It is very easy to forget that you are deciding something very important that pertains to your child only. A lot of parents make the mistake of superimposing their frustrations and disappointments with their previous careers onto the children. Remember that your child will be doing it for the rest of their life so the decision should heavily weigh with them.

Keeping Fit in Cold Weather

During winter season it can be a challenge to exercise and keep fit. With the evenings becoming colder, the mornings have a certain bite in them, and a chill wind blowing constantly. Outdoor activities are one of the best ways to keep fit since they are fun and they break the monotony of going to a gym every day. In addition, outdoor activities are a very cheap way of keeping fit while socializing. With the advent of cold weather, it can be too tempting to stay at home instead and just spend time eating, drinking, all the while forgetting about exercise. If you’re stuck in this kind of pickle, here’s a couple of tips to help you stay fit during the winter weather.

Outdoor Winter Exercise

Even during cold weather, it is still possible for you to go outside, make no mistake about that. The only thing that you need to remember is that dry conditions are favorable for exercise, but wet weather can be treacherous. For one thing, during wet weather there is sleet, ice and snow on the pavement. Running or even walking can be a challenge and difficult to do.

If you’re going to exercise outdoors, it is also important that you invest in good quality winter clothing. Make sure that you get thermal clothing and wicking clothes. Wicking means that these type of clothing transfer moisture like sweat from your body onto the outer layers of your clothing. While you’re running out there, your sweat will not stick to your skin and cool you down even more. After all, raising your core body temperature is one of the important highlights in exercising. We’ll discuss more about clothing for the winter season.

Running during winter

Running outside requires special conditions as you’ve already noticed. It is recommended that you wear three layers of clothing so that the heat will be trapped between the layers, and this will also facilitate the flowing of moisture away from the body. The first layer should be a lightweight wicking material with a snug fit. The second layer is a similar material but with a long sleeved shirt. Finally, the top layer should be a breathable, wind proof, and waterproof material. If conditions are dry and you think you’ll just be out for a short run, then waterproofing is not that important.

For the legs, it’s important to wear a pair of thermal pants under a pair of light waterproof tracksuit bottoms. If the temperature drops even lower, then hats and gloves are required. Fleece hats and gloves are highly recommended since fleece is breathable, usually water resistant, and holds heat really well. Finally, wearing reflective strips and bands over your clothing is crucial if you’ll be running around in the dark which happens quite a lot during winter.

If running proves to be quite a challenge for you, then you can go instead for brisk walks. You can do this with a friend and you can still enjoy the benefits of exercising, with the added weight of your clothes serving as makeshift weights. You can even buy a pedometer to count your steps and thus motivate you to walk further each day.

Indoor Exercise

If weather conditions are extremely unfavorable, like when it becomes very cold and wet, then it is best to stay indoors. Should there be a ski resort near your house then you should hit the slopes every weekend or so for some healthy outdoor exercise. If that’s not the case, then you can join a fitness club or join an exercise class near your home instead.

One thing that people overlook is the benefits of martial arts classes. Martial arts classes have a very healthy mix of cardio fitness. It can involve classic circuit training exercises, strength work, and core conditioning. However we do understand that martial arts do not always appeal to everybody. What you can go for instead is aerobic class, yoga workouts, or even public swimming baths. All of these methods are ideal for indoor exercises during the cold winter months.

Home Gym

Another thing that you can do is to invest in some home gym equipment. We know what you’re thinking; it might be very expensive and involve a huge area. However, a simple weight training bench with free weights will allow you to work your whole body. This is also an excellent idea for fat loss and muscle toning.

A lot of people have started purchasing exercise bikes, rowing machines, treadmills, and the more popular cross trainers. Keep in mind though that these pieces of equipment take up a lot of space, and you often lose interest in using them after a few months. You should only buy these if you are determined to develop a winter training routine or if you plan to use them all year round.

Switch Your Routine

If you’re a person who loves to exercise outdoors, then you can use the change in weather as a chance to try something new and modify your workout plan. For example, instead of working out at night time after your work, you can work out in the morning instead when it’s still bright outside and when you’re still getting that first rush of energy. Moreover, when you’re tired from work and stuck in bad traffic because of bad weather, it will discourage you from exercising. On the other hand, exercising in the morning will get it out of your way early during the day so you can spend your evenings relaxed at the couch.

Importance of Nutrition

Remember that if you’re running outside in the cold weather or simply working out in the winter season, then you need more fuel than usual. You might find yourself quickly drained of energy more than usual when you go for a quick run outside. Filling up on carbohydrates can help remedy this problem and enable you to work out same as before. Lastly, it is also imperative that you drink plenty of fluids. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean that dehydration will not happen to you. Remember that you are still losing fluids when you are going out for a run, it’s just that in the cold weather you won’t be able to feel it as you would in the warm season.

Keep Warm

We’re talking about specifically what is after exercise. When you have finished your exercise routine, resist the temptation to quickly remove your clothing. If your body loses head rapidly, post exercise hypothermia will happen. If you have been sweating heavily, then this is the reason not to remove your clothing after exercise.

It is still possible to keep fit in the cold weather. All it takes is a simple modification of your exercise routine. If you’re into keeping your exercise regimen even when you can’t go outside, then you can buy exercise equipment. What is important is that you keep yourself motivated all throughout the cold weather since working out at home can prove to be too tempting to many people out there.