We all know how difficult it is to fit exercise into a busy routine. The thought of forgoing an extra 45 minutes in bed for an AM spinning class or stepping into a pair of trainers instead of onto the sofa after work is – let’s be honest – not a pleasant one.
But we also all know how good exercise is for the body. In fact, the benefits – such as increased productivity at work, improved mental health and a reduced risk of serious illnesses like heart disease and type 2 diabetes – completely outweigh the downsides like having to get out of bed a little earlier or spending more time walking and less time on public transport.
In our bid to encourage everyone to fit more exercise into their routine, we’ve put together 7 top tips for fitting a workout into your busy routine:
Take the stairs not the lift
It’s true that ‘every little helps’ is a phrase repeated over and over again, but that’s because it really does work. Every step makes a difference when it comes to reaching a healthy 10,000 steps per day.
Get off the bus 10 minutes early
A ten-minute brisk walk really can make a difference to your health. And it’s not just a good form of exercise. This is a real opportunity to take in your surroundings and have a breather before your working day gets started. Your commute might not take you through the countryside but that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the less obvious things like kids on their way to school or a bit of fresh air.
Don’t eat your sandwich at your desk
Lunchtime is the perfect opportunity to fit in a quick workout whether it’s a quick trip to the gym or a walk into town. Remember that work-email that keeps doing the rounds encouraging you to sign up to lunchtime tai chi? Perhaps it’s time you said yes. It’s also proven that switching off at lunchtime as opposed to sitting at your desk means you’ll be more productive in the afternoon.
A family cycle ride
Anything that’s fun means you’ll be much more likely to do it again. Try taking the kids out for a bicycle ride on a sunny day or heading down to the local pool over the weekend, all a good dose of outdoor activity.
Get into early morning exercise
Just imagine being sat at work knowing your exercise for the day is already done. We know that for some people getting up any earlier really isn’t an option, but for others, it’s often the best way of guaranteeing your body the movement it deserves.
Stop being a couch potato
From time to time vegging out in front of the TV is a necessary indulgence, but a lot of the time it’s something we all spend far too much time doing. Get going with some squats and crunches whilst you’re watching TV to give your lower half a break from the cushions. You might not think you need a break from being a couch potato, but the fact is every one of our bodies was designed to keep moving.
Choose something over nothing
Last but not least, doing anything is so much better than doing nothing. If you’re thinking about skipping your walk because it’s too rainy outside, do a quick home workout instead. If you don’t fancy running that 5k you’d promised yourself you’d run – don’t fret – 2k will still do you a whole world of good.
There’s always something you can do and you’ll always feel better if you do it, no matter how short the distance and no matter how fast the pace.