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Exercise Tips for People With 'No Time'

By Sheri Zampelli

As our lives become more complex, we need creative time-management twists to juggle all the things we want to do. This article will give you tips on how to fit exercise into your busy schedule, even if you have a sedentary lifestyle.

The first step is to drop the all-or-nothing, perfectionistic thinking that says "It has to be at a gym. It doesn't count if you don't breathe hard. It doesn't count if you don't do it for at least 30 minutes non-stop etc. Any physical activity is more beneficial than NO physical activity. So open your mind and let's create new solutions.

We all get stuck from time to time sitting at our computers, waiting for one thing or another:

*Long print jobs

*Slow or large downloads

*Large files to open

*Inspiration on what to write or do next

*"Instant messages

*iPod Updates

Here's how you can put that time to use:

1. Get a medicine ball and/or exercise band at your local sporting goods store or on-line.

2. Put these items near your computer in an easy to reach location.

3. Begin compiling a stack of exercise ideas from magazines or books which you will also keep near your computer (consider starting a three-ring binder so you can easily find the book and flip through it at will).

4. When you encounter a wait period (or just need a little break), do a set of arm or leg exercises. Here's a list of ideas to get you started:

Chest Press: Strap an exercise tube around the back of your office chair and do occasional chest presses. Hold one handle in each hand and position your hands so they are at chest level. Sit up straight. Push forward and extend your arms straight in front of you or, for variation, cross your hands in front of you. Repeat 10-15 times or until you become fatigued.

Overhead Tricep Lifts: Hold a 3-5 pound medicine ball in both hands. Lift it over your head with arms extended. Bend at the elbows and slowly lower the ball so that it ends up behind your neck. Continue lifting the ball from behind your neck to over your head. Use slow, steady, controlled movements. Repeat 8-10 times or until you become fatigued.

Bicep Curls: Depending on your strength level, you can use one or both arms for this exercise. Hold the medicine ball in your hands in front of you as if you are offering a gift to someone or holding a large cup or bowl in your hands. Your arms should be in an "L shaped position at your sides. Bring the ball up to your chest slowly and then back down slowly. If you are strong enough, you can also do one arm at a time lifting the ball from the "L shaped position up to your shoulder and back down again. Repeat 12-15 times or until you become fatigued. Perform equal amounts of repetitions for each arm.

Leg Lifts: Stretch your legs out in front of you and put your ankles and feet together. Place the medicine ball in the cradle created by your ankles so that the ball is resting on the top of your foot and your lower leg at the same time. Depending on your strength level, you can do this exercise a variety of ways:

Lower Leg Lifts: Lift your legs from the floor until they are almost completely extended. Maintain a small bend in the knees, do not lock your knees. For more of a challenge, hold your legs in the lifted position until you begin to feel your muscles shake or burn, then lower. Repeat 10-15 times.

Full Leg Lifts: Scoot up in your chair so that your buttocks are almost at the edge of your seat. Put your hands on the armrest to support your body. Extend your legs in front of you with your knees slightly bent. Lift your legs as high as you can off the ground. For extra challenge, hold your legs in place before lowering. Be sure to continue sitting up straight as you do this exercise and hold in your abdominal muscles for support.

Copyright 2006 Sheri Zampelli

About The Author
Sheri O. Zampelli, M.S., CCH is a clinical hypnotherapist in private practice. She is the author of From Sabotage to Success - How to Overcome Self-Defeating Behavior and Reach Your True Potential. She helps people create liveable solutions for their weight and eating challenges. For more information, visit her website at http://www.donateyourweight.com.


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