Writer: Sheila Olson, creator of fitsheila.com
Photo credit by Unsplash
We all know that taking care of ourselves is important, but an often-overlooked area of self-care is physical fitness. Many of us make the mistake of assuming that self-care means rest. The truth is that the right workout can improve your physical and mental health, and even your sleep and relaxation. But how can you fit it in your busy life? Let’s learn.
Adding Fitness To Your Busy Schedule
The reality for most of us is not that we don’t have extra time. It’s that we don’t manage the time we do have properly. PeerTrainer.com has two excellent tips to help you do just that. First, assess how you use your time – all of it. For example, checking email or social media several times a day is inefficient. Try to lump those tasks together and tackle them only a few times a day.
They also advise rethinking exercise goals. If you do not exercise, start with small increments such as 20 minutes, three times a week. This will give you time to develop the habit of working out.
Another idea is to exercise efficiently. Pick a simple workout you can do anywhere that accomplishes a lot in a short period of time such as Tabata training or burpees for 20 minutes. Read more ways you can stay fit even with a demanding job in this article from Greatist.com. On days when you don’t even have that much time or energy, Health.com has some simple ways to sneak in exercise.
Selecting Exercises You Like
One of the best ways to motivate yourself to set up and stick to a fitness routine is to make sure you are choosing exercises that you enjoy. Burpees may be great in a pinch, but most people don’t like doing them everyday. Here are some fun fitness exercise you can do and their health benefits:
Yoga is an excellent choice because it allows you to get fit, physically and mentally. You not only learn poses that work your muscles, you’ll also learn breathing, meditation, and relaxation. Like with any form of exercise, the key is consistency. Make practicing each day easier and more convenient by setting up a dedicated space in your home. According to HomeAdvisor, any room or corner will do, it just needs to be uncluttered and well-lit.
While water play is fun for most people, swimming has a unique benefit. Research shows that it can decrease one of the risk factors for heart problems, lower blood pressure for people with hypertension, and allows easier movement in the water for people who are overweight or obese. It’s still a workout though!
In addition to being fun for outdoor enthusiasts, hiking is one exercise that can double as a social activity. According to Shape Magazine, it can firm your core. It also challenges you to move in multiple directions (up, down, sideways) as you navigate terrain, giving you the benefits of multiple gym exercises. And your exposure to nature and sunlight is great for your mental health too!
Dancing is not just a date-night activity. It can improve your health by giving you a great cardiovascular workout that doesn’t feel like exercise! Dancing helps people of any age can benefit from improved motor skills, stretched muscles, and increased range of motion. CNN reports that it can help slow memory loss in seniors. So shake your booty to prevent aging!
Self-Care Around Fitness
For those who are or become obsessed with high-energy workouts, you need to remember self-care as well. Health.com recommends you remember to workout properly by warming up, cooling down, and keeping hydrated. You should also do breathing exercises to help reduce stress and regulate your nervous system.
Fitness is an important part of self-care. Take the time to work it into your schedule so you can stay healthy and balanced in all parts of your life.