The global recommendation on physical activity for health in adults aged between 18-64 years is either 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity, or at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activities throughout the week. An equivalent combination of both also is accepted!
Completing this much exercise leads to improving overall cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, bone health, decreasing the chances of depression as well as the risk of contracting non-communicable diseases associated with inactivity in the entire population. In other words, exercise helps you stay healthy, and decrease risk of various diseases. (World Health Organization)
Nevertheless, even with a clear goal in mind, often there are the times that you find yourself with insufficient time, leading to doing either little to no exercise. You overall complete less exercise than you had anticipated. This might be a cause for alarm since by now; you’re already aware of the benefits of exercise and the lack thereof, right? Well, my team and I have taken time to research how best you can create time regardless of your busy schedule to exercise and gain from it. Some of these include;
Doing Meal Prep
Meal prepping is creating several meals or dishes and dividing them in portions for a week’s or several days consumption. Rather than spending an hour every other day cooking some chicken breast with vegetables, you spend 1 day at the beginning of the week cooking 7 days worth of food! This will definitely clear up some time that you can use for exercising and more importantly, promote healthy eating - since when you prepare the meals yourself, chances are that you’ll be cautious enough to control the portions to much your nutritional requirements. (LifeHack)
Use Resistance Bands & Other At-Home Equipment
Using resistance bands for exercise is a simple yet efficient way to keep fit, not to mention their affordability. In addition, resistance bands are easily portable and can be carried around in your bag as you travel or go to your work places. From this, exercise becomes incredibly convenient and also affordable! You don’t have to get a gym membership and waste time driving, checking in, changing clothes and more. Another important note with resistance bands is that they affect your muscles different; they exert less pressure on your joints and muscles, decreasing risk of injury. (ExperienceLife)
Plan, Plan, Plan
Cliché as it may seem, lack of a planning is the key reason why most people don't get enough time to exercise. At the beginning of the week, you take 20 minutes and review your calendar for what the next few days look like. From this, carve out time purely for exercise and meal prep. Next, honor and treat those times set aside for exercise just like you would any other appointment, and your commitment to them will help lead to more adherence (Experience Life).
Reduce Watching TV
Unless you are exercising while watching, for example while walking on the treadmill, consider spending less time watching television. However, if you’re up for the challenge, you can start limiting the amount of time you spend on the black box gradually and slowly but surely, wean yourself off completely.
Similarly, decreasing the amount of time spent surfing the internet whether on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram will save up time for exercise activities. Replace these with physically meeting with the friends over jogging sessions, hiking, swimming or do some aerobics. (Lifehacker)
When all is said and done, bear in mind that it’s purely upon you to create the time that you so much need to exercise. If you prioritize your health and overall well being, exercise will be on top of your to do list.