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How to add more physical activity to your day

December 2, 2014

Do you wish you spent more time exercising, but there always seems to be something standing in the way?

There are a handful of excuses that people often tell themselves to avoid physical activity. However, endless studies and medical organizations support a certain degree of exercise for everyone, especially when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle for seniors.

If you find yourself searching for reasons to skip a day of fitness, here are a few ways to muster the necessary motivation.

I don't have time
When you consider how you spend your time each day, you might find that you're able to fit certain television shows or enjoyable hobbies into your schedule. While those activities that bring you joy are great additions to your day, you should give working out similar weight. The Huffington Post suggested scheduling a block of time for fitness, even if that means writing it on your calendar or planner to make it official.

Another way to make time for physical activity is by breaking it up into small chunks throughout your day. There are plenty of exercises that you can do during commercial breaks or in five-minute intervals as you go about your business. 

It's boring or lonely
If you don't like exercising because time seems to go slowly and you aren't enjoying yourself, it's important to find a way to make the task more exciting. You can find a workout buddy to keep you company and help motivate you. This will also make fitness more of a social activity, which may eliminate some of that pre-exercise dread.

Exercise classes are another way to add a social aspect to working out. Many independent living communities and senior centers offer group classes that will get you moving and can even lead to new friendships. There are classes that branch out from traditional free weights or cardio activities, so you can find something that really interests you. Look into social dance, boxing lessons or scenic bicycle rides for a new twist on getting fit.

You can also make exercise more interesting by listening to music or audio books while you go through workouts.

I don't want to pay for a gym
Whether a gym membership isn't in the budget or you're uncomfortable working out surrounded by other people, you can get active in the privacy of your own home. So many exercises can be done using household objects or your own body weight for resistance.

To get started on a fitness plan without joining a gym or organized exercise group, try wall squats to strengthen your lower body and core muscles.

Find a wall that doesn't have a baseboard radiator, window or artwork to lean against for squats. Your back should be flat against the wall, but with your feet out in front. Without leaning forward, slide down the wall so that your legs are bent at a 90-degree angle, as if you're sitting on an invisible chair. Hold this pose as long as possible for sets of five, but continue increasing how long you squat for as you grow stronger. Don't forget to squeeze your abdominal muscles at the same time.

I'm too old or frail
While you might think you physically can't work out due to an ailment, many aches and pains can actually be relived by the right exercises. If you're not sure what's safe for you, your doctor can likely suggest appropriate workouts for your age and condition. However, back pain, arthritis and weight problems can all be improved with a bit of physical activity.