22nd October 2018
You’re busy; you have a million and one things to do. You don’t always have time to spend an hour in the gym. Some days, even finding thirty extra minutes to work out can be a struggle. So, how can you keep your fitness up on those days when you just don’t stop?
Use your imagination and you can find numerous ways to incorporate exercise into the mundane tasks you do throughout the day. Here are a few scenarios to get you started:
1. In the morning
Start the day as you mean to go on and get active immediately, before you’ve even had your breakfast.
- Waiting for the toaster? Plank until the bread pops up.
- Porridge in the microwave? Do crunches until it pings.
- Morning cup of coffee? Lunge whilst the kettle boils.
Once breakfast is out of the way, it’s time to make yourself look good. To the bathroom…
Stand on one leg whilst you brush your teeth, this will activate your core as you try to maintain balance and also build strength in your legs. Done? Then switch to your opposite leg whilst styling your hair. Just don’t try it when you’re shaving; razors are sharp.
2. On the commute
It’s not necessary to freerun your way to the office by scaling walls and yelling “Parkour!” as you jump over railings, but you can if you want. You should walk as much of your route as possible though. Buy a pedometer, and try to take more steps each day:
- Get off the bus a stop or two early
- Take the stairs instead of the lift
- Give someone a piggyback (this doesn’t have to be weird)
Identify the times in your day when you can walk that bit further or make your stroll more eventful.
3. At the office
So what about when you get to the office? Even if you typically spend eight hours a day sat in your chair not doing a whole lot physically, there are still plenty of ways to keep yourself active without even leaving your desk.
There are big changes you can make:
- Swapping your desk chair for an exercise ball will improve core stability
- Opt for a standing desk and you can burn 50 calories more per hour, by essentially doing nothing
- You can even invest in a treadmill desk and walk whilst you work (this will take a while to get used to)
Then there are exercises you can do at your desk. Try doing these periodically throughout the day, or whenever you have a mental block:
- Desk press ups
- Tricep dips on your chair
- Squatting at your desk instead of sitting down for 30 seconds
- Contracting your abs for extended periods
- Push away from your desk, then pull yourself back in as fast as you can 20 times (wheelie chair required)
4. On your lunch break
Don’t stay at your desk. You’re already sitting for hours at a time before and after this magical hour in the middle of the day, so use your lunch break wisely. Try and do a 10-minute circuit of press-ups, squats, dips, and jumping jacks if you can. At the very least, venture outside and go for a walk – get some fresh air and get the blood pumping through your veins.
5. At the supermarket
It goes without saying that making the right choices in the supermarket will contribute to your health. Make the following choices and work your muscles as you cruise the aisles:
- Park in the far corner of the car park. Not a great strain on the way in, but with eight carrier bags in your hands on the way out you’ll notice the distance
- Once inside, ditch the trolley and grab a basket. Your abs will have to work hard to counteract the imbalance as your basket fills up
- Jump on the conveyor belt when you’re at the till and use it as a makeshift treadmill to impress the checkout girl… OK, don’t do this one, just contract your abs until all your items have been scanned instead
- Bicep curl your bags as you walk back to your car, or whilst walking home. You may well be stared at with this one though
6. In the kitchen
Abs are made in the kitchen, as the saying goes – and your body can be sculpted there in more ways than one. Obviously, you’ll be preparing yourself healthy, nutritious meals, but you can throw in a few reps and sets whilst you’re chucking your ingredients into the pan, for extra benefits.
- If you’re reaching up to the high cupboard, do a few calf raises first
- If you have to reach down to the fridge, hold a squat position for thirty seconds before you come back up
- If you’re waiting for your meat to cook, your rice to boil, or your sauce to simmer, grab a couple of tins of beans and hold them out at arms length for as long as you can
7. In your free time
If you’ve somehow found some time to sit and watch TV (thought you said you were busy?), then at least make the most of it. Every time there’s an advert break, pick a few bodyweight exercises and create a mini circuit for yourself, changing exercise after every advert. Go as hard as you can as you’ll only be working out in three or four minute bursts.
Another good habit to get into is to drop and do 20 press-ups whenever you enter a room or get up to do something (in your own house obviously, not when you’re out shopping or meeting your girlfriend’s parents). Going to the toilet? 20 press-ups first. Need a drink? 20 press-ups first. Going to bed? 20 press-ups first. Stick to this and you’ll rack up a couple of hundred press-ups a day quite easily. Well, not easily, the last few will be killer.
These are by no means the only ways to sneak a few sets into your day, but they are a good place to start. Whilst they don’t seem like much on their own, combined together over the course of a day or a week, these little tweaks to your schedule will soon pay dividends. Bear in mind that these should supplement your usual workout routine, not replace it.
Do you have any tips of your own? Leave a comment underneath and share it with the group.