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Working in Your Workout

Working in Your Workout

March 17, 2009

Oops. You missed your spin class again. It’s just as well – you still haven’t gotten through the day’s email, you’re hungry as hell and American Idol is on in an hour. You’ll try again tomorrow. “Try” being the operative word. Because despite your regular attempts, these days you never seem to get out of work in time to hit the gym. An economy-in-shambles is forcing you to work harder than ever, just to stay in the race. When you do have a bit of free time, you’re just too exhausted to face all that spandex and sweat.

You’re not alone. Americans cite lack of time – more than anything else – as a key impediment to staying in shape. Which is not surprising at all, given that we’re the only nation in the world that has actually increased working hours in the past ten years.

But no matter how tempting it may be to skip your workout – don’t. Exercise is essential. You won’t just look better, you’ll sleep better, feel better, and probably even work better. But you know all that. So what are you waiting for? Summer’s right around the corner, and no one wants to see your love handles.

Here are 10 ways to stay in shape, despite your 60-hour workweek:

1) Supercharge your commute. If proximity and weather permit, walk or ride your bike to work. Both activities are excellent for your cardiovascular fitness, and are guaranteed to help you keep the weight off. One hour of walking can burn up to 200 calories, while an hour of cycling zaps more than 300 calories (depending on your weight and speed). If you are going to cycle, be smart about safety – riding your bike while rocking out to Def Leppard on your iPod is an accident waiting to happen.

2) Get up early. Not a morning person? You should be. Just think – you can cross your workout off the to-do list before your day spirals out of control. Plus, some research shows that by working out first thing in the morning, you give your metabolism a jump start and burn more calories over the course of the day. Studies also show that an early morning workout will boost your mental sharpness for 4-10 hours afterward. Sure, it’s tough to get out of bed and go. But it’s kind of like diving into a cold swimming pool – once you’re moving, you’re good. And you’re almost always glad you did it.

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