3 Ways to Sneak Exercise into Every Day

By Amanda Gannon-Welligee Coach

It’s the middle of the day and you’re starting to feel mentally sluggish. You just can’t seem to keep your focus. Or it’s the evening hours and you’re tempted to turn towards bad food choices because your self-control seems nowhere to be found.

Recent research has displayed the effects of short bouts of exercise (as little as 10 minutes in duration) on optimal brain function. Increase in attention, creativity, self-control, and mental flexibility are among the specific areas shown to be significantly impacted. So when you’re feeling a little off and in need of a boost, get up, get moving, and get the juices flowing! The key to short bouts of exercise? Keep the intensity high! Of course, this is completely individual, but get your heart pumping and break a sweat! Here’s three easy ways to do it.

1. While dinner is cooking
When early mornings and long days have gotten the best of me, I have mastered the dinner-time workout. Complete all preparation for your dinner and when you throw it in the oven, use that time to complete a circuit using weights or pure body weight. You are usually given at least 10 minutes and often more to complete some type of movement. And consider it multitasking! Dinner is on the table and exercise is complete! Check and check!

2. While watching tv
Often, television time can lead to mindless snacking, a complete disconnect between our brains and our hands putting food to our mouths. If for you personally it’s not the television, it may be flipping through a magazine or completing work from home. Whatever the trigger may be, remember, these studies have shown an increase in self-control with short bouts of exercise. This is a big double-whammy! One, you can’t eat if you’re exercising (and if you are, that’s a whole other set of issues to be addressed), and two, self-control is heightened, leading to less chance of poor choices following the exercise. Winning!

3. Save 10 minutes of your lunch break
If you’re one of those individuals that just can’t fathom the idea of hitting the gym on your lunch break, tone down the thought a bit. It doesn’t take a complete change of clothes, a car ride, and an extra shower to get more movement into your day. Simply save 10 minutes of your lunch break to commit to physical activity. Walk up and down the stairs of your building. Close your office door and complete a circuit of exercises that don’t require a ton of space. If your work has a fitness center, utilize a piece of cardio equipment if weather conditions don’t allow for outside activity. However you spend your 10 minutes, it is 10 minutes more than you were completing before, and you will likely return to work feeling re-energized and ready for the remaining half of the day.

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Originally published at www.welligee.com on July 22, 2015.