Daily exercise is an essential ingredient to a healthy lifestyle. Exercise makes you feel good, it improves your mood and helps to blow off steam and stress. Unfortunately, like most things that are good for us, exercise takes effort, dedication, and commitment and it’s something we often have to schedule into our day. But, if we can overcome these obstacles exercise will help us maintain sanity in our crazy busy lives, it will keep our bodies fit and strong and it’ll improve the quality of our lives.
I aim for 15 minutes a day, yes that’s it! I know all the research says that we should do 30 minutes of exercise that elevates our heart rate 3 times a week, but frankly, as pathetic as this sounds, I often can’t find that 30 minutes. Maybe I’m a terrible time manager; some would say this to be true.
I don’t believe I am, rather the 30 minutes always seems to stretch into something more like 45-50 minutes. This includes the time required to get the water bottle ready, to change from the work clothes into the workout gear and finally to start the workout.
Heaven to Betsy, if there’s someone I know in the change room or gym – add another 5-10 minutes for chatting and catching up. There you have it, my life story. The 30 minute work out that takes an hour and this doesn’t factor in the time to get to the gym or wherever it is I’m doing the workout.
Instead, in the winter when it gets dark really early, I’ve taken to exercising at home. The beauty of home exercise is once I wrap up the work day and head home I don’t have to go out again. This means no night driving!
Tyre, where I live, is powered by a mix of government power and privately run generator power. When on genny power, as we so affectionately call it, there are no street lights and it’s almost black except for the light of the moon. Night driving here is similar to driving in the country only to become like a stunned deer when the oncoming traffic has their halogen headlights on high beam, as they always do. Argh, night driving, I hate it.
In the winter I aim for 15 minutes of home exercise. Once home, I get to spend time with the kids while I get ready for the workout and they see mom making time for exercise. They’ve been raised to understand exercise is a part of a healthy life and they know exercise is part of our life. Then I head off to the study, which doubles as our workout area, for my 15 minutes of unwinding.
I don’t have an exercise routine to speak of; rather, I very much listen to my body and what it needs. I find that on days where I’ve done a lot of sitting my body craves hard physical aerobic exercise. On these days, I strap on my heart monitor, plug in the music and jump on the VersalCimber. Have you ever seen one, or used one? It’s like a stair climber but better because you use your arms as if you’re climbing a wall.
When exercising the more major muscle groups you use and the higher you get your heart rate for a sustained period i.e. 15 minutes- the more energy you’ll burn, the more endorphins – mood enhancers- your body releases and the better you’ll feel. The VersaClimber gives you all of this in a very short workout time. A workout on a stair climber, rowing machine or treadmill will give you the same effect.
If the day has been mentally straining or I’m feeling exhausted I’ll pull out the yoga mat and do invigorating standing poses like sun salutations, triangle, side angle and warrior 2 followed by a few seated poses to relax my mind and stretch my body. I usually finish off with deep breathing exercises and some final relaxation.
Whatever exercise I do on the day, no matter what the mental battle I had with myself to do it, I always walk away feeling better and more relaxed than I went into it. I’m a better mom and wife when I exercise because it gives me time to process or rid myself of the day. I’ve never regretted exercising.
The great thing about exercising at home is my 15 minutes can stretch to longer; if it does the kids will often come join me or just watch and that’s ok. Sure, 30 minutes of continuous exercises is good for you and if you have the time go for it, your body and mind will thank you. Just don’t let your lack of 30 minutes stop you from exercising and feeling great.
Take that 15 minutes, listen to your bodies needs and do something physical, what it is doesn’t matter half as much as just doing it. That’s why Nike came up with the slogan ‘just do it’, there are no truer words!
Love of yourself, dedicate time to your personal health and wellness and everyone around you including you will benefit. Challenge yourself today, take 15 minutes for exercise. Just do it, you’ll be glad you did.
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