It can be really difficult to find time to exercise given our hectic lifestyles. However, there are seven (and then some) ways in which you can fit some into your life without exhausting yourself in the process.
Here are seven things you could try if you’re struggling to find the time to do a full fitness class or a 5km run, for example. Remember that maintaining a good level of fitness helps both physical and mental health.
If you have to make a phone call, for example, why not do it while you are walking? This means that you get to raise your heart rate slightly whilst ensuring you carry out those all-important tasks at the same time. For those of you who work from home, you could walk on the spot during phone calls. Alternatively, invest in a riser desk where you can stand or sit depending on your mood. When standing, you could easily type whilst doing strength exercises.
2. Try HIIT
When it comes to HIIT (high-intensity interval training), you do a lot at a challenging level in a short space of time. Therefore, spending between 15 and 20 minutes doing this sort of activity can be just as beneficial as doing something for an hour at a lower level. Of course, it is hard work, and it can be tricky to know what to do. YouTube features many fantastic HIIT workouts, so check some out and see what you think.
3. TV challenge
While we all know that taking part in some sort of exercise is far more beneficial than having a Netflix binge, it is also important to remember that doing things that you want to do will help your mental health, too. Combining the two is a possibility, and a TV challenge could be the way to go. Every time a certain character appears on the screen, you could drop to the floor and do a plank. When the character moves out of shot, stop. There are endless possibilities, and Pinterest has some great suggestions.
4. Change your habits
If you drive to work, would it be possible to park elsewhere and walk the last bit? Even doing this a couple of times a week could increase the number of steps you take and impact your life in a positive way. Rather than taking the lift at work, try the stairs. Ok, so you might not want to get hot and sweaty, which is more likely if you work on the top floor of a tall building, but you could improvise. Why not take the lift to two floors below yours and take the stairs for the final two flights? Little changes such as these can help to make you more active.
5. Join in with your kids’ play
It can be tempting to sit on a bench at the park and catch up with the gossip via WhatsApp or the latest news online, but actually, this could be the perfect opportunity for you to increase your stamina and be a fitter, healthier parent to your children. If they are taking part in outside activities, such as on their bikes, try jogging behind them. If you go to a large open space, try a game of rounders or cricket. There are plenty of options – just keep moving!
6. Turn up the music
When you’re in the kitchen slaving over the hot stove, why not put the radio on and turn up the volume? I love listening to Radio X or Absolute Radio. I crank it up and then dance away – no one is watching. This increases the heart rate substantially and utilises otherwise lost time. Of course, be careful not to exert yourself too much or exercise too close to the hot food.
7. Use your car less
It can be so tempting to jump in the car and drive to the shops in order to save a little time. However, by the time you navigate the car park to find a space, sometimes it can be quicker just to walk in the first place. Plus, by taking a stroll there rather than a vehicle, you will feel fitter, are likely to buy less (knowing you need to carry it) and you will build a little strength by carrying a few heavy bags. Do be careful not to carry too much weight though, and if you must, be sure to share it equally, so both arms are getting the same amount of exercise.
However little time you have, there are small changes you can make to ensure that you fit in some exercise. Good luck!