Fitness for women begins with reality: there’s no such thing as a woman who doesn’t work. With all of our meetings, family responsiblities and endless errands, squeezing in the exercise we know we should — at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week — may seem like pie in the sky. But there are ways we can help ourselves succeed.
Set realistic expectations
It’s de-motivating to promise you’ll exercise daily if you know you can only do it twice a week. Also, exercise works best when it’s something you enjoy, such as walking the dog on a longer route. Realistically, exercise takes energy. Sometimes, we just need to say no to another commitment and set aside a few minutes for ourselves, rather than expect to be able to exercise after an exhausting day of work.
To make sure you stay with a regular exercise plan, the U.S. Surgeon General recommends:
- Believing that you will benefit (through enhanced emotional and physical well-being, increased energy and confidence)
- Regular access to your chosen activities at a health club or at home
- Activities you can do correctly and safely
- Activities whose financial costs you can manage
Every little bit counts
When time doesn’t permit a regular routine, take advantage of ways to increase your heart rate doing things you already do. Park a little farther from the store. Visit a co-worker’s desk instead of sending e-mail. And an oldie but a goodie: take the stairs.