Easy Ways to Get More Done Each Day

EAP Navigator - May 2014

"I want to exercise, I just can't find the time."

How many times have you said that either to yourself or to someone else? Most anyone can find time to exercise -- it's just a matter of making it a priority.
Just as you make time to take a shower or brush your teeth, exercise should be a part of what you do every day, and it has to be for your own good, says the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

Most people get caught up in the rigors of everyday life -- work, family, home, college -- and it becomes difficult to add another activity. But, say the ACE, you can fit it in with a change of mindset or attitude.

These shoes were made for walkin'
You don't need a gym membership or even that fancy exercise machine you saw on television. In fact, to get started, the only thing you need is a good pair of shoes, the ACE says. The only other piece of equipment you might want to consider is a treadmill.

Walking is a good way to ease yourself into the routine of exercising. One way to do that is to organize a walking club with a group of your friends. You can meet at shopping malls, your house, a friend's house -- wherever. If you decide not to go, you have to call and say, "I'm not going today," so it's often more work not to participate.

Working out time for a workout
According to the ACE, there are three important types of exercise: aerobic activity, muscular strengthening and flexibility exercises. Aerobic activity includes hiking, walking, biking, swimming, basketball and dancing -- all things that most people do already. The key is to continue the activity for at least 20 continuous minutes. Two 10-minute sessions are almost as beneficial.

Aerobic training helps expend calories, but also helps the heart and lungs, helps reduce body fat and helps prevent osteoporosis, the ACE says.

Strength and flexibility can be gained from sessions at the gym and also by doing yard work or housework. The stretching and lifting that are a part of gardening, raking, sweeping, vacuuming and dusting work a variety of muscle groups.

An ideal workout, the ACE says, would be 30 to 45 minutes, half cardiovascular exercise and half muscular strengthening, three to five days a week.

It doesn't matter what time of day you choose. Many people work out in the mornings before they go to work, but others work out at night. Morning workouts seem to be better for most people because if you plan to do it later in the day there are many things that can come up and throw you off track. Then, before you know it, you're going to bed and you haven't exercised.

Most healthy adults can embark on an exercise program without difficulty. The American Heart Association recommends, however, that you consult your doctor first if you have a heart or blood pressure condition or another medication problem that may require increased attention in an exercise program. People who develop shortness of breath with mild activity or those who develop chest pressure with exertion should consult a physician.

The food factor
A balanced diet will complement your exercise routine. And if you're trying to lose weight, you need to expend more energy (calories) than you take in. Watch the size of your portions when you're eating, as well. Many people eat low-fat foods, but eat too much of them. If you have questions about how to proceed, talk to a registered dietitian.

A moving experience
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) offers these suggestions for adding some aerobic activity to your life:

• Take the stairs rather than the elevator
• Take a walk around the neighborhood after work
• Park your car farther away when you go to the store or mall
• Go shopping (it's walking, after all)

You may already be exercising in your daily activities and don't realize it. The following are also good ways to increase aerobic activity and flexibility:

• Yard work such as planting, raking and working in the garden
• Hiking
• Biking
• Swimming
• Basketball
• Dancing

Krames Staywell




8 Tips to Cope with Stress on the Job:
You don’t need more stress at work, but odds are you have it anyway. "Stress is chemical. Stress is hormonal," says psychiatrist Murali Krishna, M.D., of Oklahoma City. "If you don't learn to cope, it will eat you alive."

Take heart, though. The tools for coping with stress lie within each of us. Below are 8 tips to help tame your stress at work:

1. Eat right. Instead of coffee, drink water or juice. Instead of junk food, snack on fruits and vegetables.

2. Exercise at least three times a week. Pressed for time? Focus on a workout that gets your heart rate up (racquetball, aerobics or a long walk).

3. Connect with others. A social network revives you and keeps you on an even keel. Seek out supportive co-workers and avoid "stress carriers."

4. Assert yourself. Speak up about petty annoyances while respecting others' feelings.

5. Relax and rest. Get a good night's sleep. Learn relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga. Take "mini-relaxation breaks" during the day.
6. Reduce clutter. Simplify your work area to offer physical and mental space. Schedule time for managing paperwork. Try to reduce the noise level.
7. Take a media break. The artificial stimulants of the Web, TV and radio often obscure your true emotions, thoughts and hopes.
8. Go for a walk. A measured stroll can do wonders for stress levels as you focus on your movements.

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