Ways to Integrate Exercise into Your Life

No one says you have to train like an Olympian to shed pounds. You can burn calories simply by taking a moderately paced stroll around your neighborhood. The key is motivating yourself to making exercise a part of your daily life. I know; easier said than done, right?

My suggestion: Start off slow, but be consistent. Here are some tips that have served me well over the years:

Workout in front of the TV. That doesn’t necessarily mean watching an exercise video, it just means being an active TV watcher. Instead of vegging out on the couch while you watch, you can walk or run in place, do standing lunges or tricep dips off the edge of the coffee table. If you have free weights consider lifting while you watch your favorite show. Another suggestion: During commercials, do push-ups or sit-ups. A one-hour show includes about 15-20 minutes worth of commercial breaks.

Workout while your kids do. If you’re driving your kids to afternoon soccer practice make the most of your errand. Instead of reading a book or chatting with another parent consider walking or jogging around the perimeter of the field while your child practices. Or if your child’s practice is an hour long then park your car and walk 30 minutes out, turn around and make the trip back.

Look for ways to burn calories. Some simple ideas include parking farther away from your destination; taking the stairs instead of the elevator or jogging during your lunch break. Another idea: Schedule a “walking meeting” with colleagues. If you work as part of a team you can exercise as a group while brainstorming ideas and schedules.

Remember: It takes about 30 days for the body to adapt to lifestyle changes. Studies show the vast majority of people who give up on their fitness programs tend to do so within the first four weeks. Don’t fall into the same trap. Try to stick with a program for a month. Fitness experts say after that behavior patterns will have adapted and it will be much easier to maintain a regular fitness regime.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.