Exercise in a Rush

By Shani Petroff

Some months my schedule is fairly open, and others it’s jam-packed. Right now I’m working on several projects that are all due soon, preparing for my book launch (it’s a teen romantic comedy), and freelancing in a newsroom. I like being busy. But the more I have going on, the more the idea of going to the gym or even taking the time to do a video at home stresses me out. Yet, I know I still need to get in some exercise and movement—so I’ve come up with a few ideas.

An Extra Stop. When I’m in a rush, I don’t have time to walk everywhere, but just because I may not be able to do a two-mile trek, I can still do something. So instead of getting off at my usual bus or subway stop, I’m picking one a little farther away. I’ll look at the time and decide how much I can do. But every little bit counts, so even if it’s just a couple of blocks, it adds up! (This works with parking spots too.)

Procrastination Checks. There are days I pretty much lock myself away in my apartment with the computer. The goal is to do nothing but work. But with the Internet right at my fingertips, I wind up taking a lot of quick breaks. Too many!

Well, now there are self-imposed consequences. Every time I check Facebook, I have to do five toe touches. Email is five butt kicks. Phone apps, five jumping jacks. For every video I watch, I have to get down and do five sit-ups for every minute of content. And for random Internet searches and breaks that are not work-related, I have to pick another exercise.

Might not sound like much, but you’d be surprised. I didn’t realize just how often I checked my phone. So now I’ll either get in a lot of exercise, or I’ll quit procrastinating, finish my work faster, and then have free time for activities like going to the gym!

Useful Breaks. If I’m at the office, I’m trying to make the most of my breaks. I’ll take a few walking laps inside the building, go up and down a couple of flights of stairs, and even stretch a little. And if I’m at home and decide to watch some TV, the plan is to do a set of sit-ups every 10 minutes and use hand weights in between.

The Victory Dance. I’m setting little goals for myself. For instance writing 2,000 words. When I reach that goal, I’m going to YouTube, picking an upbeat song to play, and then dancing around in celebration. (And if it feels like I won’t ever get to that mini-goal, I’m going to take a Rocky break. I’ll play the theme song from the movie and jump around for a few minutes.) It helps my mood, gets me moving, and motivates me to go back to work!

I’d love to hear your exercise tips and tricks. You can find me on Connect at @shani!  

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