No matter what your job is, whether you work in an office all day or are busy at home with your children, the chances are that there will be no gap in your schedule for an exercise regime. And once your working day is over, the last thing you want to do is don the Lycra and sweat it out in the gym for an hour. The great thing is that you don’t actually have to have a costly gym membership or devote your life to constant workouts in order to be fit and healthy. You know that colleague or friend who claims they never go to the gym but always look amazing? Well maybe they are just following these simple tips and reaping the benefits. Here are some easy ways to get exercise into your everyday routine.
1. Keep Moving
It might seem a little obvious and a bit too simple, but just moving your body will burn calories in exactly the same way as it does when you are exercising. Try committing to not sitting down when you are on the phone. If you are in the habit of having a long chat on the phone whilst sitting on the sofa, try walking around the room instead. You might feel a bit silly at first but once your conversation gets into full flow, you won’t even realise that you’re doing it. If you have a hardwired phone, try walking on the spot. Or how about squatting or marching whilst brushing your teeth or drying your hair?
2. Skip the Lift, Take the Stairs
This is a bit of an old tip but it is still a great one. Climbing and descending the stairs burns on average 10 calories per minute of climbing. It’s not a huge figure but don’t think that there’s no point to it. Look at the numbers:
If it takes you 2 minutes to walk up the stairs at work, that will be 20 calories each time you go up or down. If you climb the stairs when you arrive at work, again at lunchtime and when you go home, plus one other trip during the day, you will burn 120 calories per day. That’s 600 calories in a week and could lose you 1lb a month or nearly a stone in a year!
3. Make the Most of Your Garden
If you have a garden, then get outside and get digging! Many garden tasks are actually quite strenuous and involve a lot of bending and stretching and lifting, but don’t read this and be put off. The fact is that you probably won’t notice that you are doing it because it’s just part of the gardening process. Bending down to weed the flowerbeds and stretching over to reach the weeds is a bit like a burpee exercise in slow motion! Plus it burns at least 139 calories per half an hour session. Simply moving the lawn, even with a powered lawnmower, burns 135 calories per half and hour and digging burns a huge 180 calories! Beautiful garden = beautiful you!
4. Play with Your Children
Being too busy or too exhausted to go to the gym because you are looking after your children is a valid excuse, but you can actually incorporate exercising into your time with your children. What could be a better way to burn off the calories than by playing with your children? They’ll love it, you’ll love it and you will all feel the health benefits. Actively playing burns anywhere from 120 to 150 calories per half an hour. Try something as simple as tag or hide and seek, Frisbee throwing or going on an outside adventure.
5. Go for a Walk
Simple and effective! It can be so easy to get caught up in work and home life but a brisk walk outside will not only benefit your body, it will also help you get some much needed fresh air and Vitamin D and help you to see beyond your own little world. Fitting a walk into your day doesn’t have to mean setting aside a large chunk of time. You could try parking your car a few blocks away from work, jumping off the bus 2 stops away from home or popping out to the shops on foot rather than in the car. All of these short walks add up, and with walking burning around 120 calories per half an hour, you could find yourself burning 600 calories a week without putting too much effort in.
6. Exercise with Friends
Teaming up with a friend or your partner can provide great motivation and give you a reason to get on with it. When exercising, it is recommended that you should still be able to carry on a conversation with someone at the same time, to avoid you completely overdoing it. Surely that is the perfect excuse to combine having a catch up and exercising at the same time? Plus things are always so much more fun if you have someone to share the joke with. It could be as simple as going on a walk around the park, doing the school run on foot with another school mum, or taking an exercise class together. Whatever you choose, studies back up the fact that you are more likely to stick to it if you exercise with a buddy.
7. Lift Weights
We are not talking Olympic-style, backbreaking weight lifting here, just simple dumbbells. It is actually really easy to add lifting weights into your routine because you can do them in conjunction with other activities. Most weight lifting exercises require you to be stationary, so you can even do them while watching the TV. Increasing your body’s muscle mass increases your resting metabolic rate, so you will burn more calories naturally when you are carrying out your normal daily activities. The key to successful muscle building is the number of repetitions you do, rather than the weight you are lifting, so try some light dumbbells or even bottles of water, and get shoulder pressing during your favourite soap!