Exercising is a crucial component of a health and wellness routine, but most Americans don’t work out on a regular basis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 50 percent of adults over the age of 18 do not engage in the recommended levels of aerobic activity. Many people are intimidated by the thought of regular exercise, because they assume that it needs to be difficult or time-consuming. They may also be out of shape and embarrassed to go to the gym. Regular exercise doesn’t have to be tricky or expensive, and it’s easy to add into your routine. As a small business owner, you may think you don’t have the time to spare to exercise. However, putting in the extra effort now can improve your mental health and save you stress and fatigue that may cost you and your small business money in the future.
Find Something You Enjoy
You will be more likely to stick to your exercise routine if you find something you enjoy. If you’re not interested in running, then you probably won’t stick with a training program that is centered around running. To find something that works for you, try a variety of classes or videos. Many specialized workout studios, including yoga studios, dance studios and specialty fitness classes, offer free or discounted trial classes, so you can test the waters without much financial commitment.
Make it A Family Affair
Kids need exercise as much as adults, so adding fitness into the family routine can help you carve out time to make it happen. Author and motivational speaker Len Saunders, MA Exercise Physiology, offers the following advice: “Take a family walk after dinner and use that time to talk about your days. Play a family game of football during halftime of the game Dad is watching. Invite your kids to join you during your cross-training or yoga DVD.” Taking regular walks, bike rides or trips to the park can help you get into the habit of exercising.
If you’re constantly finding reasons not to exercise, add it to your schedule. You wouldn’t skip a doctor’s appointment or a client meeting. Treat your time for exercising as you would these other important tasks. The Mayo Clinic advises “schedul[ing] physical activity as you would any other appointment during the day. Don’t change your exercise plans for every interruption that comes along.”
If finding time to run all over town to go to a gym seems like a hassle, try to find another option closer to home. Log on to your community’s website to find recreation centers and classes that are close and convenient. To increase your chance of success, find a friend or neighbor to go to class with you. Being accountable to someone else can help motivate you to stick with your routine. Attending local classes also gives you the opportunity to make new friends in your neighborhood. If you are insured through HAP, you may be able to take advantage of discounts on various health and wellness products and activities.
Sneak it In
Being more physically active doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym every day. Making certain choices in your daily routine can help you sneak extra physical activity into your life. Fitting exercise into your day does not have to be as complicated and involved as going to the gym after a long day, or getting up unreasonably early before you need to be at the office. You don’t even need to leave the office. With a little planning, you can incorporate simple but effective office workout routines into your day while you are at work. The National Institute on Aging recommends, “When you go shopping, build your endurance by parking the car at the far end of the parking lot and walking briskly to the store. Or, get off the bus one or two stops earlier than usual.” Little changes such as taking the stairs or walking the cart back into the grocery store can add up over time.
There are many ways to rearrange your schedule for fitness, but the most important tip is to be consistent. Stick with your new routine for a few weeks, and you will be more likely to adapt to your new schedule. It may be frustrating in the beginning, but once you’ve successfully woven exercise into your life, you will reap many benefits.
To learn more about affordable healthcare plans for your small business, visit Health Alliance Plan.
For more tips and inspiration for small business owners, visit Small Business Pulse Detroit.