Trevor Rich, M.D.
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Exercise daily and raise a family? Really?
You know you should exercise every day. You may even find yourself motivated to do just that. But you also have a family to raise and a profession to manage — not to mention evening recreational sports, afternoon clubs and weekend deadlines. How could you possibly fit it all in?
Here are a few helpful tips to do just that.
Your motivation: Find your personal reason to get fit.
Motivation keeps former smokers avoiding the bad habit day after day. And motivation is what you need to keep pursuing your health goals day after day.
Think of something that will really get you moving every day. Maybe it takes posting a picture from your healthier days on the fridge. Or perhaps you wish to keep up with the kids. Whatever it may be, make sure it gets you moving each and every time.
Gut check: Examine your goals.
Are your goals realistic? Can you accomplish each goal in a controlled and healthy manner? If not, rewrite your goals to make them more attainable over time.
Learn how to set SMART goals for success.
Early bird: Try early-morning exercise.
Early-morning cardiovascular workouts are well-supported to improve concentration and energy for the rest of the day. They also may have the added benefit of improving sleep quality for some people.
Busy bird: Survey your schedule.
Not every schedule is identical. Do you have an opportunity before, during or after work for exercise? These carved-out moments do not need to be hourlong cardio-intense sessions. Even mild-intensity walks or several pushups on the office floor provide notable benefits over time.
Grab ahold of that opportunity because you know you will feel a lot better afterward.
Try these short routines:
Look forward: Do something you enjoy.
Motivation implies seeking something you want to pursue and you want to complete. Exercising can be of a fun, stress-relieving part of your daily.
The family that exercises together stays healthy.
When your family exercises together, you grow healthy together. Exercising as a family unit will improve family bonds, and you also will role model the importance of physical activity to your children.
Breathe it: Make exercise mandatory.
You simply must do it. Make exercise part of your routine. Schedule time each day.
Little steps: Exercise on your way to A, B and C.
Do you live close to work? Make your commute to work your daily dose of physical activity by biking or walking to work. Park at the edge of the parking lot, not the closest spot. Take the stairs, not the elevator.
Consider adding stretches and exercises if you sit at a desk much of your workday.
Just say no.
Look at your priorities and responsibilities. Eliminate unnecessary items so you can get your workout in. It's OK to say no sometimes.
Learn more ways to get and stay physically fit.
Trevor Rich, M.D., is a Family Medicine physician in Mondovi, Wisconsin.