But, if you are not prepared to look too critically at how you spend the time you have, and instead want to find a number of quick and easy ways to ensure that you exercise more, without sacrificing your free time, then here we consider a number of ways in which you can achieve the same. Think of them as gym cheats. While you can now get flexible gym membership, or even a gym day pass, if you simply cannot convince yourself that you have the time to train, there are ways in which you can exercise, without too much effort – sounds too good to be true right?
Don’t forget, you only get out what you put in, and if you want to become healthier overall, there is no alternative to hard work, but these little tricks can help you turn the corner, and at least make a start.
It is called a break for a reason, so take one. Not just from the office, but from the inactivity that comes with the job. Get moving, the quicker the better. Run your errands at lunch, and in between each try to move quicker. In an hour you could walk up to 4 miles – the recommended 10,000 steps per day is roughly 5 miles, so what a start you could make there. Even when you are in a queue you can tense your abs for example for 10 seconds, relax then repeat. It isn’t much, but it is something.
Too often we socialise inside, and often in a restaurant or bar. Not only is this inactive physically, but you have the added calories or drinks and food that you could easily do without. Instead, why not meet your friends, and go for a walk in the park, combining exercise with your social life.
An old favourite this might be, but it is for good reason, because it works. If you drive to work, think about parking further away, rather than closer to the office. If your job is based over many office levels, always take the stairs. Perhaps walk home from one bus or tube stop earlier than normal, or think about other ways to get moving more and sitting less. We all email each other at work because it is easy, but it is also anti-social, often unproductive and turns us all into lost souls. Have you ever thought of knocking on a colleague’s door to pass on news rather than email it – this may not always be the best plan with the boss, but it will work most of the time with others. If you really do not move much all day, then follow a simple walking plan to get more active.
Some people use their gym day pass to go and lift weights. If you have the shopping to do, why not combine the both, and carry any groceries by hand rather than in a trolley. Perhaps not for the big monthly shop, but certainly for your everyday groceries. This can also be combined with the lunch break adventure, where you can do your shopping at lunch, carrying the same, and free up evening time for yourself, or maybe even a visit to the gym to use your flexible gym pass!
Whilst toasting your bagel, making your coffee, waiting for the shower to warm up, add in some crunches or press ups, or stretches. It won’t feel silly, as nobody is watching, and it is time that otherwise you would be stood still. A few press ups here and there soon add up.
If you are lucky enough to have a dog, then they are the best excuse in the world to get out and walk. Try adding on a few minutes to the start and end of every walk and before you know it, you will have done an extra hour per week of good exercise. If you have a pedometer or suitable App on your phone, you will soon see the difference in exercise. This will motivate you to keep up the good work and incorporate more into your life. Also, if you have a friend that works out, ask to join them – people tend to train harder, and get fitter, when exercising with a friend.
Make chores work. Mow the lawn, wash the car by hand, hoover, mop and do any chores whatsoever. They all involve a degree of effort and if you set to them at some speed they will do you even more good. You will also benefit twice, both from the exercise and from getting things done!
Perhaps there is no substitute for donning your gym gear, and breaking out the gym day pass and getting down to some proper physical exercise. But for many, they feel they do not have the time let alone the inclination. These cheats however will serve to show you that you are able to adapt your lifestyle to incorporate exercise a lot easier than you think, and all together they will make a difference. Even more importantly they will demonstrate the importance of your health, and how you owe yourself a duty to make time for yourself and your own wellbeing. Yes it can be hard, but when you will benefit on many levels, it is certainly worth making a start and trying your best.