This is one of those weeks when I just can’t seem to make it to the gym. The week started with a bank holiday and it will end with a Friday morning full of meetings. So, what do you do when your week’s routine derails your exercise routine?
I have mentioned before that I prefer group exercise classes, which makes things particularly hard on busy weeks. When I can’t get to the gym, I rely on my Fitbit (pedometer) to log in steps for the day. I call these days movin’ it days. It’s not fancy, but I just put on my tennis shoes and walk “laps” around my living room.
Maybe for you, movin’ it might mean turning on some music and dancing a jig in the kitchen. While intensity is important for long-term fitness, your body still responds to physical movement regardless of what form it takes.
Utilizing data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers measured the physical activity level of more than 10,500 Americans between 1999 and 2004…Among the 10,535 participants, there were a total of 665 deaths during the five-year study period. Not surprisingly, participants who met current exercise guidelines had the lowest risk of death compared to those who were less active. But getting some physical activity was better than none, according to findings. Participants meeting exercise guidelines had 36% lower risk of death and those who were active but didn’t quite meet guidelines had 28% lower risk of death compared to subjects who got no exercise, whatsoever. And among adults who were active but didn’t meet current guidelines, those who did muscle-strengthening activities like sit-ups had 44% lower risk of death than those who didn’t.
The take home message? When it comes to physical activity, we should get rid of the “all-or-nothing” mentality. Getting some physical activity is always better than none and according to this study, any amount of physical activity can help you live a longer life.
I have to be willing to shake things up. This means I will be getting my rear out of bed to attend a Saturday morning Zumba class. Do I like to go to the gym on Saturday mornings? No…but I also accept that I am off my routine for the week and sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. Ok, so that’s a little extreme since neither the time or the measure are that particularly desperate, but you get the point.
This brings me to the next important consideration. While it is important to set up an exercise routine, sometimes life happens and you can’t make your exercise commitments regardless of your best intentions.
This is the time to extend a little grace. Don’t allow yourself to become discouraged …attitude is half the battle of physical fitness. So, resist the temptation to hang it all up because you missed a few days. Take a cue from Scarlett O’hara, “After all, tomorrow is another day.”
Speaking of life happening, I would also love to hear from some of you. What would you like to hear from me about issues of overall fitness, fitness over 40 or weight loss? I have been happy to see the following of my fitness posts steadily grow and I really want these posts to speak to your needs. So, give it to me in the comments below…what would you like to see in my future posts?
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