In the United States, only 23.2 percent of adults meet the CDC’s physical activity guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities. The reasons you don’t exercise vary, but lack of motivation and time are two main causes.
When we’re busy, every free minute is often a welcome time to stop – stop moving! So, if you’re too busy, too tired, and too unmotivated to exercise, here are nine ideas to help you get exercise:
Not only does stretching feel good, but if done regularly, it can “increase the strength and power (of your workout) by about 2 to 5%,” says Brad Walker, stretching expert. You don’t have to go crazy. Just find out what feels good and follow a gentle stretching routine like this one (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVCqkiqsz4I) for guidance.
2. Relaxing yoga poses
3. Workout in the commercial break
After a long day of work or hunting down toddlers, sometimes all you want to do is turn off your brain and see a good show. Instead of scrolling your phone during the commercials or between episodes, spin through a few simple workouts (e.g. 15 jumping jacks or 10 sit-ups). You could also do a set every time something specific happens on the show – like every time Terry from “Brooklyn 99” refers to himself in the third person or every time Baby Yoda from “The Mandalorian” does something Sweet things.
4. Climbing stairs
Climbing stairs is a great way to get your heart rate up and give your glutes and thighs some attention. And even if you take it slow, you will burn 5 calories per minute, which is just a little more than the 1 to 2 calories per minute you would burn if you were seated. Hey it’s the little things!
5. Clean up
Stand up those pillows, wipe the kitchen counter, or throw away the junk mail that’s been on the counter for a month. Tidying up is a great way to relieve stress with exercise, and it just feels good to have a tidier house too.
6. Walk up and down the street
A short walk can be exactly what you need to improve your energy levels. Regular, brisk walking can also help prevent heart disease, strengthen bones and the immune system, reduce stress, and much more. If you don’t feel like exercising, a leisurely stroll can also work wonders.
Meditation, according to Healthline, is the “process by which you train your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts”. Meditation has many benefits, from lowering blood pressure to improving emotional health. If the idea of closing your eyes, sitting cross-legged, and diverting your thoughts for long periods of time sounds intimidating, know that meditation doesn’t have to be like this. You can start by simply sitting upright and taking a few deep breaths.
8. The 7-minute workout
Sometimes the real hurdle in training is just deciding what to do. Apps like 7 Minute Workout are great for overcoming this. There are a few different quick workouts that will tell you exactly what to do and when to do it. No thinking – just movement!
9. Turn on your favorite dance song
Think of a song that will always give you a boost. Pick three moves that you enjoy (e.g. jumping jacks, squats, or butt kicks) and alternate between 20 repetitions of each until the song ends. Or you can always dance! Even slower social-style dancing burns between 150 and 220 calories an hour.
Whether you’re feeling too busy, too tired, too unmotivated, or a combination of the three, a little exercise can go a long way towards making you feel better. Try one of these exercises and see if they don’t give you the boost you need for a healthier, happier day.