Hate to exercise? Feel guilty if you don't? Can't seem to find the time? Those of us who work for ourselves know that time really is money, so it's difficult to tear ourselves away from that computer or telephone. On the other hand, if anyone needs the stress-relieving benefits of regular exercise, we do--after all, we can't leave our problems to the boss, right?
Here are six (almost) painless and completely cost-free ways to blend aerobic and weight-bearing workouts into your day so seamlessly you'll hardly notice you're doing your body and mind a favor--and you'll reap the benefits in the long run.
1. Walk, whenever possible. When running errands for your business, park in the far reaches of the parking lot, and take the longest and most circuitous route to your destination. Stash an umbrella, some sunscreen and an extra pair of sneakers in the car.
2. Don't allow yourself to take the easy route. Elevators and escalators? Never heard of `em. Walk--or even run--up the stairs.
3. Instead of driving to the supermarket twice a week, walk there often and carry home one moderately heavy bag. Side benefit: fresher food.
4. Treat yourself to a weekly midday cappuccino--but walk or bicycle to a cafe that's at least a mile from your home or office.
5. Need to problem-solve? Put on your favorite rock `n' roll music and boogie down--it'll goose up those brainwaves. (I dance, therefore I think.)
6. If you don't have enough space for a mini-basketball hoop (a la "thirtysomething"), move the potted plants and take five-minute rope-jumping breathers. Set up your stationary bike in a corner and read your mail, pick up your phone messages or even crunch numbers while you pedal.
Make these exercises a frequent habit, and you'll feel the difference in no time. --Jean Schiffman