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Squeezing exercise time into your autumn schedule

Exercise
Larisa Agranovich

With fall right around the corner and the kiddos returning to school, many of us are going to have to readjust our fall schedules, especially if you are in the education field or are parents/guardians. Now with the added responsibility of making lesson plans, coaching, checking over homework, fall sports and other obligations related to work and/or the children, it's easy to put yourself on the back burner and eliminate exercise altogether. However, as much as it may seem like you just don't have the time, by eliminating physical activity you may actually be doing more harm than good.

According to mayoclinic.org, not only does exercise prevent excessive weight gain, but it also combats disease, improves mood, boosts energy and even promotes better sleep, making it a crucial part of your life. If you are one of those people who are wondering what you can possibly do, wonder no more. Maybe you can wake up a bit earlier to get in a morning workout. Maybe you can sacrifice some television or internet time to squeeze in an evening workout. Or if you cannot imagine finding extra time either in the morning or evening, maybe you can find the time during your lunch break. Here are some things you can do to help boost your motivation.

1. Get a gym membership

Many of today's gyms open early in the morning, long before the kids have to be in school or you have to be at work. Squeezing some exercise in, in the early morning is a great way to jump start your day whether it's a 15-20 minute jog on the treadmill or a morning fitness class. Waking up earlier may seem undesirable to some, but you'll reap the benefits later on. On the flip side, if you're not someone who can wake up earlier, you can save your exercise time for after work. Many establishments do provide childcare so if you're worried about what to do with your child, this definitely solves your problem.

2. Go for a brisk walk

If you don't like the gym atmosphere and prefer to be on your own, a brisk morning walk is also a great way to jump start your day. You can start with 10 minutes and slowly increase the duration when you feel ready to take more on. You can even work your way up to a jog and eventually a run. But don't forget to vary the intensity and duration so that your body doesn't get used to the same thing day after day. On the flip-side, going for an evening walk if you just can't muster up the energy in the morning is just as effective.

3. Get a dog

If you're an animal lover who has been contemplating on adopting a 4-legged friend, then this would be a great opportunity to not only provide a loving home to an animal in need, but getting motivated to start walking. In fact, this situation would force you to walk twice a day, possibly leading up to a jog and even a run- good for both you and your pooch.

4. Buy a treadmill

If none of the above sparks an interest, maybe you'd consider buy a treadmill or another type of workout machine. That way you can be in the privacy of your own home and save time on commuting to a gym. In addition to that, you may not even have to sacrifice watching television. You could watch TV while on an exercise machine, that way you stay occupied and not miss your favorite show. Just be careful you don't lose complete focus of what you're doing. Watching television isn't worth risking an injury.

All in all, when there's a will there's a way. So pick what works best for you and if you have to sacrifice to make extra time for exercise, it is very well worth it. Happy Fall!

NOTE: Make sure you get medical clearance before trying any new exercise or activity, and/or if you are starting a new exercise regimen. If you feel abnormal pain or discomfort, stop and contact your health care provider.