Need to do exercises regularly?

Ever get told to do some exercises regularly but find yourself absorbed in your work and not getting the exercises done?

There may be a solution for you. This blog has a quick look at some useful ways of remembering to do you exercises.

The applicability of these solutions will be exercise dependent. Some exercises will not be able to be done in the same situations as others.  For example you can do many neck exercises while in a confined space (e.g. the car) where as you will not be able to stretch your hamstrings out.

What are the options?

At the computer

The following list of ‘gadgets’ will run on your windows PC see the brief descriptions to get an idea of what they can offer.

Take a break

This would have to be one of my favourite. It is a subtle little gadget that will sit on your desktop. It was designed to remind people to take a break for their eyes. However, if you add in a few exercises while resting your eyes I am sure the developers will not mind! It will play a sound at set intervals to remind you to take a break.

http://www.softpedia.com/get/Windows-Widgets/System-Utilities/TakeABreak-Gadget.shtml

Workrave

This program is a little more detailed than the last two. It offers a few more functions and ways to change the settings. It will remind you to take a short break while typing/using the mouse. It also reminds you to take longer break to ensure you have time to do your exercises. The third reminder is an overall usage timer – it will after 4 hours (by default, but you can change it) remind you to stop using the computer, while the 4 hours may not be long enough if you work on a computer you can change the time frame or ignore the prompt entirely.

http://www.instantfundas.com/2009/05/workrave-helps-you-prevent-repetitive.html

Eyes relax

Of the same breed as the above two programs but with plenty of options and features. It offers two break reminding options (short breaks and long breaks) and it has a ParentMode that will lock the computer during the break (forcing a break to be had, rather than suggesting it).

Eyes Relax

FadeTop

Similar to ‘Take a break’, however instead of playing a sound it will fade the desktop to a colour of your choice to remind you to do your exercises. You can play around with the timing and the duration of the fading and you can change the opacity of the fade, allowing you to keep working if you needed to. 

http://www.instantfundas.com/2011/06/fadetop-reminds-you-to-take-computer.html?dhiti=1

What about when I am not at a computer?

One of the best solutions is to think of an appropriate prompt. This prompt might be something you do, something you walk past, a certain place in your house etc. When this prompt ‘occurs’ you have to do your exercises.

Just some examples of prompts that might be useful:

  • Sitting at a red light (or if on foot, waiting for the green pedestrian light)
  • Walking down a specific hallway at work/home
  • During the ad break when watching TV
  • Waiting for the kettle to boil (toast to pop, fax to send, page to print, website to load, microwave to finish etc.)
  • Every time you check Facebook (for some of the youngsters this may dramatically increase the number of times they do their exercises!)
  • Pick an activity you do during the day where you can combine the exercises alongside.
    • While you are cleaning your teeth, brushing your hair you could
      • be stretching your calf muscles
      • Or, once you’ve made sure there is no water on the floor and you’ve got something solid to hold on, working on your single leg balance (only do this if recommended by your physiotherapist)

      At the end of the day it is your responsibility to make the exercises a priority. Your physiotherapist may seem ‘exercise’ happy at times, but more often than not, they are the best long-term solution for managing your ailment.

At the end of the day it is your responsibility to make the exercises a priority. Your physiotherapist may seem ‘exercise’ happy at times, but more often than not, they are the best long-term solution for managing your ailment.

If you have any great ideas for remembering to do exercises please leave them in a comment below. Or if you have a tricky situation where you find it diffucult to remember your exercises explain the situtation in the comment and we will help you out.