No time? No excuses.
Fitting exercise into your life isn’t as hard as you think.
Everybody is busy. It’s almost as though we’ve made having a busy schedule a sign of status these days, as we all rush about between projects, downing coffee.
There are tonnes of people who believe they don’t have time for fitness. Maybe these people have signed up to the gym once or twice, but found it hard to commit past the first few visits and ended up paying and paying for not going until they cancelled the membership and consoled/rewarded themselves with a pint.
After all, fitting in an hour at the gym involves scheduling the hour gym-time–as well as the travel time, the shower time, the planning-before-you-leave-for-work time. And there are so many other things to do, like eating or sleeping, working or chores, as well as seeing loved ones. Where is the gym supposed to fit? I get it.
But did you know the average person in the UK spends over four hours a day watching TV or faffing about on the internet?
Now, I’m not going to tell you to get off your computer and go for a run (here). Instead, I’m going to share several things you can effortlessly fit into your day to make fitness become second nature. Especially the things that generate time, rather than consume it.
Fit fitness into your daily life by combining it with other tasks, like seeing friends and walking the dog.
Walking is fantastic exercise. By walking just slightly faster than usual, you’re tapping into fat reserves to fuel you, while also strengthening your leg and core muscles.
Walking a little quicker is easy–and it saves you time. Walk faster between locations you have to walk between anyway. Walk up the escalator or take the stairs. Walk up, run down. Take stairs two at a time, if you can, and work your quads. Take stairs on the balls of your feet and work your calves.
Walk between bus stops.
Walk the dog.
Walk instead of driving and you’re even saving money. Saving money on petrol, on parking, on the congestion charge (if you’re in London)–while burning thousands of extra calories a week.
Walking also makes for a brilliant day out. If you have a friend or a date to entertain, a long walk is often a winner. Make a game of it and see how quickly you can do each mile. Find somewhere nice to stop halfway for lunch.
If you can combine more of your social activities with fitness ones, you can hang out with your friends and be fit at the same time. Two for one. We are, after all, a nation of multitaskers.
You could go for a jog or play a game of squash. Many parks across the country have tennis or basketball courts, which can be used for free. Imagine it: an hour of fitness for you, an hour for fitness for them, an hour of chat for you both, and an hour of fun activity (particularly if you win), all within a single hour. That’s four hours for the price of one.
Always keep moving
You’d be surprised the difference you’ll see from squeezing in the odd movement here at there. Waiting for a train? Pace up and down the platform. Brushing your teeth? Squat. Sat at your desk? Do some leg raises.
There’s always something you can do. I like to jump up and down occasionally or do squat variations.
In the office, if one of us decides it’s time for a break, we introduce a challenge. Most recently it was a plank-off. Who could hold a plank for the longest? It’s competition and it’s a distraction, so we all encourage each other to keep going.
Try holding walking meetings with your colleagues. Walking and talking saves time, gets the juices flowing and saves you from too much time sat down.
Get up regularly to get yourself a glass of water. You move to get the water, and you move again to go to the loo. And drinking water is brilliant for your insides.
When standing in a queue, flex your abs for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times. Repeat.
This helps work the core without anyone noticing. It also helps the time go faster.
Cycling your A-to-B
Cycling is fun and works your heart, legs and core. And the more you do it, the faster and stronger you’ll get. Cycling from a-to-b can often be quicker than driving or taking the bus–saving you time and money while making you fitter.
Cycling everywhere also means you become very knowledgeable of the place you live.
When you wake up in the morning, do a couple of minutes of something to get your body going. Maybe a few press-ups or sit-ups on your bedroom floor, before jumping in the shower. It won’t take you long and it’s a great way to start the day, waking you up from head to toe.
Chores burn calories and build muscle
Did you know vacuuming or mopping can burn 75 calories per half hour; while cutting the grass can burn approximately 324 calories an hour.
While you’re washing the dishes, you could do some leg raises; while shopping, you could use a basket (instead of a trolley).
Browsing the perimeter of the supermarket a couple of times before choosing any products, helps you rack up those steps (as well as compare the best prices).
Lifting your shopping bags up and down as you walk is a great way to work your arms. Think of them as free weights.
Hit the dance floor
Dancing the night away to some fast tracks can burn up over 400 calories an hour. You get to hang out with your friends, have fun and get fit, all at the same time. Be careful not to negate all your hard work by drinking the bar dry, though!
Challenge your buddies to a dance-off, for increased entertainment.
Still, think you’re too busy?