And because of the Internet I get all types of e-mails about diets, exercise and losing weight. Most I discard, but every now and then I get something that I think is interesting enough to repost. And recently, I've gotten quite a few about breaking up exercise into small manageable sessions daily. Five minutes here, 10 minutes there. It was also part of a recent Weight Watchers discussion.
For me, this makes sense. Although I'm beginning to enjoy exercise, finding an hour stretch every day is sometimes impossible. But in the morning, I can always find 6 minutes to do the Shake Weight exercises -- one of my middle-of-the-night purchases that I am not allowing to gather dust. At night, if I am really exhausted, marching in place during a TV commercial break is not as daunting as putting in a 45-minute walking tape. And if I start walking during a commercial, chances are I might continue the march into the show. It's getting off the couch that is the real challenge.
I've begun parking at the far end of lots, because those added steps into the store do add up. If I am going to the mall, I park in a spot as far away from the store I am headed for, and sometimes even take an added lap or two around the mall. In grocery stores, I used to get so angry at myself if I forgot an item and had to backtrack. Now, I'm actually happy when I have some backtracking, because that means lots of extra steps.
My goal each day is to reach 10,000 steps on my pedometer. It's become a game for me, a way to challenge myself that's actually fun.
What follows is a list posted last week on www.everydayhealth.com, which offers 10 fat-burning tips for people on the go. Here are some of the ones I'm hoping to incorporate into my pattern from time to time to keep things interesting.
1. When you first wake up, commit to 10 minutes of continuous exercise. Choose only three movements and perform each in succession without stopping for 10 minutes. For example, you can perform modified push-ups on Monday, followed by crunches for your abs followed by stationary lunges. On Tuesday, you can perform free-standing squats with hands on hips, double crunches for abs and close-grip modified push-ups (hands 3-inches apart) for your triceps.
2. Perform timed interval walking in your neighborhood or at lunch. If it takes 10 minutes to walk to a certain destination near your office or in your neighborhood, try to make it in eight minutes. You can also do this first thing in the morning before work as well as on your lunch break.
3. If you have stairs in your home or in your work place, commit to taking the stairs a specific number of times. Tell yourself that you’ll take the stairs six or eight times (no matter what).
4. . Double-up the stairs. Every time you take the stairs, simply take a double step or every other stair. It will be just like lunges and the Stairmaster combined. Great for the legs and butt.
5. While seated, perform some isometric exercise to help strengthen and tighten your muscles. For example, while in a seated position, contract the abdominals for 30 seconds while breathing naturally. Or tighten and contract your legs for 60 seconds. Perform about three sets per area. You’ll feel your muscles get tighter in just three weeks if you perform this a few times per week.