No Time for Exercise?
Alexa Montecillo (The Freeman) - February 26, 2017 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - One of the biggest downside of the modern lifestyle is that people are getting less and less physical. Most of today’s jobs keep workers sedentary. And there are now tools and equipment that do the chores that people used to do.

Modern technology is keeping people mostly indoors. There is no longer need to go out to the movies; there is already the home theater system. And, instead of actual games where they have to sweat it out, young people today prefer the computer games.

And so, there’s no time for exercise – physical exercise. The problem of lack of exercise is already affecting the health of entire populations, compounded by the popular penchant for processed, less-healthy foods. But exercise is very important; it seems the human body is designed for sweat-inducing activity.

Chloe Della Costa, in an article at, shares ideas on how to smoothly weave physical exercise into one’s day. She points out that “moving your body, even for short amounts of time, is one of the most important daily habits for your health.” Even those people who are short on time may do quick exercises throughout the day, she writes. Those who can’t seem to squeeze in an ideal fitness routine shall not be completely inactive.

People are getting busier these days, Della Costa notes. They’re staying longer hours at work, finding various ways to compensate with the family, and are doing “everything else that comes up in life.” Ironically, they are also becoming more sedentary than ever.

Della Costa suggests ways to squeeze in physical activity to fit smoothly into one’s routine.

Multi-task. Whether lifting weights at the gym or power-walking around the neighborhood, chances are there is way to accomplish something else on one’s to-do list at the same time. Many gym-goers watch TV or listen to music or podcasts while on the treadmill, and some will even bring a book or make a grocery list while on the elliptical. Walking is one of the most underrated forms of exercise, and one of its many benefits is that it’s easy to multi-task with. One can make phone calls while walking, bring the dog along, or even squeeze in some in-person socializing with a walking buddy.

Do your chores. Most people don’t think of doing laundry as a workout opportunity, but some of the most banal household tasks include some built-in physical activity, no matter how minor. Gardening and cleaning the house can be more intense, and can bring significant health benefits. By scrubbing the floor, for example, one’s heart rate is sure to get a good lift.

Turn the commute into a workout. A long commute in the car means spending a lot more of your day immobile and, worst of all, sitting down. Between running, walking, and biking, there are plenty of active modes of transportation out there. In the city, jogging might even get you home from work faster than managing through the busy streets. Alternatively, you try can getting off the bus or jeepney a few stops early and walking the rest of the way.

Do mini-workout at work. A mini-workout in the middle of your workday is great for both your health and your productivity. For the times when you can’t get away from the office long enough for a true exercise break, Gregory Florez, personal trainer and CEO of Fitness First, suggests keeping dumbbells or exercise tubing at your desk. “Squeeze in 12 to 15 repetitions of exercises like dumbbell curls, overhead presses, and ab crunches; aim for two or three sets of each.”

Walk to nearby stores. Finding opportunities to walk is one of the best strategies for busy people trying to keep their bodies in motion. If you have a long list of errands, consider what you can accomplish within walking distance. You might end up carrying a couple bags of groceries for a bit of a hike, but your body will thank you for the extra exercise.

Park the car far away. This classic piece of advice often goes ignored. Instead of driving around looking for the closest spot, park your car as far away from your destination as you can handle. If you’re worried about time, turn the long walk to the store into a high-energy power-walk. You’ll manage to get some steps in quickly, so next time you pull into a parking lot at a supercenter, remember this great opportunity to stretch your legs.

Take the stairs. If you have the option and it’s a reasonable distance, always opt to take the stairs over an elevator. Parking on the upper level of a parking garage and running the stairs is another way to squeeze in exercise and get your energy up. A 185-pound man can burn almost 180 calories by climbing stairs for 20 minutes, and just a few minutes per day of stair-climbing can improve the health of your heart.

Exercise while standing in line. Standing in line doesn’t have to be the painfully boring experience most people view it to be. It’s actually a good opportunity to sneak some movement into your busy day. Instead of feeling stiff and impatient, revel in the chance to squeeze in a few stretches, squats, or lunges while you wait. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. Your day is your own, and your body needs to move.

There are, indeed, many things that can be done in order to avoid being totally inactive. While on a long bus trip or on a plane, one may do yoga. The ancient practice is great for travelers because it requires little to no equipment and provides the added bonus of reducing stress and anxiety. While stuck at the computer at work, doing foot twirls can rouse up both the mind and the body.

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