Exercise has a lot of health benefits, not just in losing the extra weight and jiggle. It boosts our mood (remember what Elle Woods said about endorphins?), lowers the risk of health ailments like cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and later on, improves the quality of our life as we age. As a yoga teacher, I tell my students that if you take a small fraction of your time to just exercise, your senior citizen self will thank you for it.
Busy as a bee, Bellas? No time to hit the gym to work out? Even if it seems impossible, you can squeeze in a workout into your busy schedule.
1. Download workout apps.
There are many workout apps to choose from. My personal recommendation: the 7-minute Workout app, which gives me a complete body workout in just 7 minutes. It doesn’t take much time but it is very effective in shaping and toning the body. You can use this as a morning warm-up or a midday exercise during your breaks. Do this when you travel, too! Minimal equipment needed.
2. Online exercise videos
The Internet is filled with a lot of resources for quick workout videos that cater to your specific needs and schedule. I follow quick yoga routines with Tara Stiles on YouTube. I was also able to find a 15-minute Ashtanga workout that I do when I need something active first thing in the morning. Just visit YouTube for other workouts like Zumba, HIIT, ballet, or Pilates.
3. Lunch hour classes
Gyms, dance studios, and yoga studios now offer lunch classes for busy people. It helps you busy Bellas squeeze in a workout during the daytime when you still have energy. Lucky for us, they are located in business districts and walking distance from most offices. You have plenty of choices, such as yoga, pole, aerial, 30-minute classes, circuit training, and even Zumba. Since this takes up your entire lunch hour, bring your own healthy home-cooked meals instead of buying a quick lunch at fast food counters.
3. Exercise cheats
Park within a reasonable walking distance to your office or destination. Take the stairs instead of the elevator when moving 2-3 floors up or down. Carry your grocery bags instead of using the pushcart all the way to the parking lot. Try using public transportation like the bus or MRT, which requires you to do a bit more walking when you can. These small things count.
4. After-office workouts
If the only time you have for a workout is after office hours, but you’re too tired to even do a warm-up, I recommend a yoga class. It’s low-impact and leaves you relaxed and stress-free (perfect ending to a tiring day) with just the steady energy you need, plus a feel-good glow. Yoga also has a lot of health benefits and anti-aging benefits, and is perfect for people of all ages. But if you’re still energized after 5 p.m., then by all means go for a one-hour gym session before heading home. See if the studios or gyms in your office building offer company discounts.
5. Take stretching or walking breaks.
Find yourself sitting on the desk for prolonged periods of time? It actually does you more harm than good, especially for your posture. Most back pains and poor circulation come from this habit. Every hour or so, set an alarm on your phone to take a short walking break just to stretch your legs and rest your back. Google “office desk exercises” or “office stretches” to find ways to reset and recalibrate your body.
Incorporating daily doses of exercise will give your body some love, help you ditch the bad moods, and make your way towards a happy, active, and healthy lifestyle.
Photos by Dix Perez courtesy of Bambi Dela Cruz. Illustration copyright: olgacov / 123RF Stock Photo