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Fit in some fitness

How to include regular exercise in your daily routine (and why it matters).

Everyone knows exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but how many of us manage to fit in a regular workout while maintaining a full-time career, social responsibilities and all the other aspects of daily life? 

Exercise has many health benefits and can help enhance quality of life. It can improve your metabolism, boost your energy, kick-start your brain and even reduce anxiety and stress to promote relaxation for bedtime.[1] Why not invest in yourself and make a regular exercise routine an important part of your day? Here are some easy tips to help you reach your fitness goals and achieve a more active lifestyle.

Make sure your workout is efficient

No one has time to spend hours at the gym, so a workout that can be done quickly, yet is still effective in accomplishing your fitness goals, is ideal. Consider workouts that can be done in under 30 minutes and require little equipment, such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), body weight exercises or even a quick morning run.[2] HIIT is great for individuals looking to do a vigorous workout in a short amount of time. The sessions work by alternating between 20 to 90 seconds of very energetic exercise and a rest period. The intensity of the workouts increases oxygen intake, which results in more calories burned.[3]

Do something you enjoy

To build healthier habits, you should be consistent. The best way to develop better exercise routines is to do something that you enjoy. Whether it’s a yoga class, cross-fit training, jogging in the park or being part of a soccer team, if you look forward to the activity, it will be that much easier to stick with it.

Keep a calendar and track your accomplishments

Track each workout by marking it on the calendar. It’s also a good idea to make notes and monitor your progress. Seeing what you’ve accomplished will help motivate you to keep going and stay on track with your fitness goals.

Make an appointment

Carve out time in your daily schedule to dedicate to exercise. Even if you’re not planning to do an intense workout every day, keep that time for anything active, whether you go for a walk, jog or do yoga. This way you’ll always devote a set time to your health.[4]

Do something, anything

Try to invest at least 10 minutes a day in your fitness, even if your day is extra busy. Instead of spending 10 minutes scrolling on your phone, use that time to fit in a short workout – try a quick stretching break at your desk or do a stationary jog in between work tasks. There are some great YouTube videos demonstrating brief workout ideas. Short bursts of exercise throughout the day can still add up to a significant workout.

Take a fitness class

Fitness classes are a great option for people who are too busy to plan their own workouts. When you take a class, all you have to do is show up and follow the instructor. The best part is that sessions are usually only 30 to 45 minutes long, and you can get a killer workout. Next time you’re at the gym, sign up for Zumba, boxing or bootcamp.[5]

Take the stairs

This may seem like a no-brainer, but the little choices can make the biggest impact in adding up to a more active lifestyle. Choose to take the stairs or park a little further from the entrance, and make sure to get in a few extra steps anywhere you can. If your office is close to where you live, try to walk instead of driving or taking the bus. These small changes can help you burn more calories throughout the day and stay active.

Exercising should never feel like a chore. By scheduling time to do something you enjoy and sticking with it, you can build good habits for a happier and healthier you.

© 2019 Manulife. The persons and situations depicted are fictional and their resemblance to anyone living or dead is purely coincidental. This media is for information purposes only and is not intended to provide specific financial, tax, legal, accounting or other advice and should not be relied upon in that regard. Many of the issues discussed will vary by province. Individuals should seek the advice of professionals to ensure that any action taken with respect to this information is appropriate to their specific situation. E & O E. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. Any amount that is allocated to a segregated fund is invested at the risk of the contractholder and may increase or decrease in value. www.manulife.ca/accessibility 

[1] www.theactivetimes.com/fitness/your-first-time/8-ways-exercise-busy-schedule

[2] https://greatist.com/fitness/how-to-fit-exercise-into-a-busy-work-schedule

[3] www.self.com/story/what-is-high-intensity-interval-training-benefits

[4] https://vitals.lifehacker.com/how-to-find-time-to-exercise-when-your-schedule-is-alre-1791027899

[5] www.theactivetimes.com/fitness/your-first-time/8-ways-exercise-busy-schedule

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