You’re busy, I’m busy, we’re all busy. Never is there a more used excuse not to exercise than this one. Luckily, there are ways to sneak exercise, even in little doses, into our day, without having to commit long bouts of time to the gym.
Here are some tricks I use to incorporate mini workouts into my day:
1. Break a large run into small segments
When I was just starting out running, my running fitness was pretty low. Running 5 kilometres without stopping seemed like a daunting task. Instead of tackling a specific distance all at once, try breaking it down into smaller parts. For example, on a weekend day, choose to do your errands around your neighbourhood, and run to each one, instead of taking the car or walking at a leisurely pace. Yes, it may mean staying in gym gear all day (who doesn’t secretly love that anyway?!) but it also serves a dual purpose – get in your fitness and finish your errands.
Use a tracking device on your phone, such as Run Keeper, to keep track of your distances. You may be surprised at how much ground you cover.
2. Make use of television commercials or other waiting times
During the Super Bowl, Women’s Health Magazine was encouraging people to complete a set of exercises during the commercial breaks. Not only was this a nice break from all the overindulging that gets done during the game, but it gave people something productive to do while you’re waiting for the show to come back on.
During your next TV session, challenge yourself to see how many sit-ups or push-ups you can do during one commercial break, and try to beat that number at the next break.
3. Do more squats – anywhere
Squat in the shower, in the office, while making dinner or while on the phone. Use any opportunity (within reason!) to drop and squat. I have even been known to do squats in plane bathrooms on long haul flights!
Squats are one of the best strengthening and toning exercises for your legs and butt, and the more you do, the stronger you get. Next time you have a spare 20 seconds, fit in a set of squats and feel the burn!
While these exercises aren’t going to make you the next iron man or woman, they are effective in keeping the body in motion, ensuring you are constantly burning energy and keeping active. Build these into your day for that little extra fitness boost.
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