Combining Fitness and Organizing

Most of us are concerned about our health and weight, particularly as we get older. Yet people often say they don't have time for exercise, essential to being healthy or slim. People in my workshops often say they don’t have time to do organizing, that the work takes too much time that they need for other things. I think no one has time not to exercise or do organizing – the consequences have too many bad ramifications for all the rest of one’s life. So, how to get them both done without falling behind in everything else one needs to do? As both a fitness and organizing freak and someone with very little time, finding ways to keep it all going on together is essential for me. I’m not a doctor, but have evolved a series of moves over the years that allow me to both get exercise and keep up with things.

Contrary to normal practice, this issue is written in the first person because none of these exercises should be yours without your doctor’s approval. So here are my ideas about ways to combine exercise and organizing. I would love to hear yours, so please share.

I’m a big believer that exercise should not hurt, so when doing something new, I always start with just one or two repetitions and very gradually increase the number. And it’s always essential to pay careful attention to messages from the body while exercising and not overdo anything.

Aerobic activities (in addition to being good for the heart and circulation, and helping with weight loss, these are really great for getting warm in the winter!):

Marching – while lifting my legs, I move items to where they go

Arm Circles and Swings – my hands are busy, so this time is good for looking around the room and planning what needs to be done next

Side leg lifts – I use this time to review goals or read as one hand is needed for holding onto something to prevent falls, however it may be possible to use the other hand to neaten things within reach depending upon where I do it

Sit-ups, leg lifts, side leg lifts, leg and arm lifts – I read, sort or edit materials while doing these very carefully to protect my back.

Push-ups, back leg lifts, alternate arm & leg lifts – also good time for reading and sometimes writing

Again, my hands are busy, so I use the time I spend working with dumbbells to look around and evaluate what needs to be done next. If I haven’t had time to work with my usual dumbbells, sometimes I use bottles of laundry detergent as weights while waiting for the washing to be done in the laundry room.

These exercises are great for clearing and organizing desks or tables. It’s all in where I sit. Anything that can be reached is fair game for organizing while I lift my legs, and do several variations on these lifts, turning my feet in and out while lifting (you really should see a physical therapist to get the proper technique). 

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