No one is safe from heart disease. Everyone should be heart-smart. But the reality is, very few of us probably are because of our busy lifestyles. I just read this article, and it is a reminder as to how important exercise and stretching are.
I know I have problems finding time to fit in exercise during the day. It’s morning rush to get the husband and 23 month old up, ready and out the door and to work and school on time (I use “on time” loosely). Then after work, it’s a rush to get home and get dinner ready, then clean up dinner, bathe the baby and spend some time playing with her and cleaning up the house at the same time. Then put her to bed and clean some more, check email, get things laid out for the morning, etc. You’re familiar with the routine.
To stay healthy and in shape, you need a healthy diet and exercise. So with the busy lifestyle of a typical working parent, there leaves little time for exercise. Exercise is very important, so you have to be a little creative. Here are a few things you can do at work to help:
1. Park at the back of the parking lot, or walk to work or the train if you can.
2. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
3. Walk to ask your colleague a question in person rather than sending an email
4. Bring walking shoes and take a quick 15 minute walk at lunch – or walk the stairs
5. Use resistant bands while on a long phone call (you may get some weird looks if you are in a cube environment
6. Google “desk exercise” or “yoga at your desk” and you will find all kinds of different exercise you can do on a quick break.
Anything that helps your heart rate get up for any amount of time is beneficial.
Aside from activity, watch what you eat. Concentrate on adding healthy items to your diet rather than determining what you need to eliminate. Research shows you can reduce your chances of heart disease by 4% for each additional daily serving of fruits and vegetables. That’s just 25 servings to reduce your chances by 100%.
It is also important to reduce stress in the effort to prevent heart disease. It’s suggested that you take a “breather” for yourself everyday. Your body needs a break, a stress reliever.
At home there are other things you can do too that will also allow you to spend time with your kid(s). You just have to be creative. Here are a few things I do:
1. Turn on the music and dance
2. Limit TV time in the evening – get off the couch and move
3. Use your child as a weight and balance them on your feet while they are superman; or lay on your back, curl up your legs and bounce them on your feet like a horse.
4. Race down the hall. I often hold my daughter and we run down the hall. She loves it!
5. It’s getting warmer (well, that’s debatable I guess). Plan to get up or get home 15 minutes earlier and take a walk outside.
6. We are planning to get bikes for our anniversary with a baby seat on it, so we can bike ride as a family.
I believe that making daily exercise part of your child’s daily routine will set them on a course for good health and exercise habits. Then exercise is just something you do, like brushing your teeth, rather than something you should do.
Here are a few articles to help you get moving at work. Note, these are not great cardiovascular workouts, but it is definitely better than nothing.
WebMD’s Desk Workout
Exercise at your desk – article and links to several types of desk exercises