Friday, May 04, 2007

Dress for Success!

Pick out your workout clothes the night before. If you don’t have to dress for work or another occasion, put on your exercise gear first thing in the morning and get to your workout as soon as possible. The Lycra in these clothes makes us more conscious of how our bodies look and feel. Even if you won’t be able to work out for a few hours, you might be more mindful of your exercise plan, which in turn might keep you from making poor nutritional choices.

Conversely, if you need to work out after a day at the office, change into those workout clothes as soon as you get home. Sure, it's tempting to put on those ratty sweats and curl up on the couch with a bowl of ice cream, but isn't that what got you in this shape in the first place? Give yourself a few minutes to make the transition from work life to home life, and then go for the exercise gear.

Still can’t find the time to workout? Life happens. Babies need changing. Groceries run out. Unexpected phone calls keep us busy. Just make the most of the time you have. Since you’re already in your workout gear, take 15 minutes to do some stretches. Keep moving when you talk on the phone—walk at a comfortable pace through the house or yard, do calf raises or squats. Do as many crunches or push-ups as you can on commercial breaks. If you have stairs in your house, try this old standard from my track and field days: Run on the way up and walk on the way down. You can even add a pair of dumbbells to increase the difficulty. Don’t take the closest parking place to the store. Make it your “default” to add extra steps whenever you can. Briskly walk the full route of the store even if you just need a few things—just don’t linger in the snack aisle! Extra points if you return your cart when you’re done unloading.

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