How much exercise should I be doing... Sheesh.. In just preparing all these healthy paleo meals for a family of 5, there's hardly a moment in the day to get my crossfit it!! I work a 3/12 shift, so on my work days, it's really hard to work out, and then on my days off, I'm preparing 3 meals a day plus snack for 5 people!!! OMG!!!
I do know what you mean. I cook for a family of 7. Maybe, i can offer a few suggestions to free up some of your time for a proper workout. I now cook once every other day or 2 by making a few meals in advance and reheating. Yesterday, I cooked bacon n eggs on the volcano stove for breakfast while I did buffalo/pastured pork meatballs in the Sun Oven, a huge salmon fillet in the oven in the kitchen, and a bison roast in the crock pot. A big help, is the clay-insert crock pot. Many nights I will throw up a batch of chili or a roast of some kind to cook overnight. Always good to wake up with the smell of savory meats wafting through the house and it does help to lighten the load. You always could illicit a little help from the kids as well!
If you are pushed for time / just starting you can get out and walk 30 mins 5 days / week.
For even less time you could do burpees in intervals. (Web search will show you how).
If you have access to a treadmill or track. You can do 8 sprints with a 2-3 minute rest inbetween 3 times a week. Also add in dumbell weight exercises for legs and arms.
I concur with L. Peltier - making slow cooked foods or foods in advance helps a lot. I work long shifts so I have to exercise around them. However, I find that doing the core five workouts from Mark's Daily Apple and a little jump roping in my apartment helps when I am pressed for time and space. I don't need anything other than a jump rope and I can stop and attend to something else while in the middle of them. Overall, they don't take a lot of time either.
I find that exercise that requires very little or no equipment, and no commuting, to be the easiest to stick to. Running, kettlebells, and Burpees are my favorites for these reasons. I can stop what I'm doing at any time of the day or night and get a workout in, right in my neighborhood or on my porch or basement, which takes about 30 minutes. Then get back to whatever I need to do (perhaps a bit sweaty...).
I am also very busy and my workouts are my "me" time. Running is especially good for this because it gets me out of the house and away from everything, and can be a nice nature experience too. If you don't like to run, you could go for a brisk walk.
As far as how often to work out, I think that a hard workout every other day and then a walk or relatively mild exercise (bike ride, mow the lawn) on the other days is a great routine and easy to stick to. Sometimes I will work out every day for a few weeks if I'm really into it or something, but I get worn down after a while (both mentally and physically).
Exercise should be mentally relaxing and rejuvenating as well. I find grueling, repetitive, boring workouts mentally draining and avoid them.
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