Six Sneaky Ways to Fit Exercise into Your Day
Don’t think you have enough time to workout? Sneak a few of these exercises into your busy schedule
If the thought of finding time to workout makes you break out into a sweat (and not the good kind), then it’s time to readjust the way you think about exercise. While it may be true that working out for a certain duration, for example, at least 30 minutes, might be ideal for burning fat and toning up, it doesn’t mean it’s the only way. Besides, some exercise is always going to be better than none, as long as when you’re doing it you give it everything you’ve got. When you consider the idea of quality over quantity, then it becomes a little easier to figure out how you can sneak some workouts into your busy day.
Basically, you’re going to get a lot more out of ten minutes of high-intensity exercise, in which you really push yourself, than you’ll achieve from doing a 30-minute workout in which you barely boost your heart rate. Keeping this in mind, check out these six ways that you can sneak some fitness into your day; just remember to give them your all!
- Ditch the Elevator — Yes, taking the stairs whenever possible might be a little predictable, but there’s a reason you see it pop up so often on ways to get exercise. It works. However, challenge yourself and see how fast you can climb; then try and beat your time on subsequent days. If you don’t work or live in a place with stairs, at least choose to use them whenever you have the option.
- Take Your Meetings on the Move — Whether you’re meeting about work or catching up with a friend, do it on the move! Ask your co-worker to join you for a 15-minute walk while you discuss your latest work project, or catch up with a friend by taking a walk in the park instead of grabbing a coffee. You can hit two birds with one stone, plus it gives you a built-in accountability partner.
Even the simple act of hand-delivering messages or walking to a co-worker’s office to ask them a question instead of just doing everything via email can add extra steps into your day and save you from prolonged sitting. Sitting for a long stretch of time has been shown to contribute to a host of health problems like obesity, high blood pressure and even an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. If you spend a good portion of your day working behind a desk, consider a standing model to help decrease the amount of time you sit.
- Embrace Your Chores — Okay, so no one really likes doing chores; you can probably think of a million other things you would rather do. However, it has to get done, so why not look at housework in a whole new way, as a workout. You can burn roughly 160 calories an hour taking care of the gardening or mowing the lawn, another 190 calories an hour scrubbing floors, or about 150 calories an hour cleaning windows. Add a little extra oomph to your chores and you can turn them into a major way to get fit!
- Go Hands-Free — Do you have an important phone conference coming up today? Maybe you just have a bunch of calls that you need to make, or perhaps your mom has been begging you to call and talk. All of these things are the perfect opportunity to work out! Use a hands-free Bluetooth headset to handle your phone conversations, and use your hands to do some resistance band exercises, or use some lightweight dumbbells to incorporate some toning exercises into your hectic schedule.
- Concentrate on Your Core — Be conscious of keeping your core tight as you go about your daily activities. When you are waiting in line at the store or waiting in the doctor’s office, you can do sitting and standing crunches; simply tighten your ab muscles, hold for several seconds, release and repeat. No one will ever know you’re exercising while you’re paying for your bread and milk. When you do need to sit, swap out a chair for a physioball and challenge your whole body by trying to maintain your balance; this gives you a great core workout while you’re sitting.
- Follow the Less-Than-a-Mile Rule — If you need to go somewhere that is less than a mile away, then walk whenever possible. Sometimes we can rely too much on our cars when our feet will do just fine, plus there’s the added bonus of doing something good for the environment.
These are some ideas to get you thinking about how you can fit exercise into your regular day, and hopefully, help you see that working out doesn’t have to be this monumental task that you can only do if you have an hour to spare. In fact, you can even break up your workouts into smaller sessions throughout the day, for example, three ten-minute walks instead of one 30-minute walk. You can also break up strength training sessions into smaller 10-minute blocks, concentrating one on arms and shoulders, one on legs, and one on abs and core; this way by the end of the day you’ve done 30 minutes of total-body strength training.
Now that you know how to squeeze some exercise into your day, you’re one step closer to your goal of a healthy lifestyle! Plus, when you add a healthy meal plan like Sensible Meals into your routine things get even easier; you won’t have to worry about a busy schedule standing in your way anymore! What other ways can you think of to fit some fitness into your day?