Don’t pressure yourself to set aside a chunk of time each day to workout. The little things you do throughout the day add up and make a difference.
1) When doing housework pump up some cheery music and exaggerate all your movements. Squat while you work. Bend from the hips and knees, almost like you’re sitting in a chair, making sure your knees never go farther forward than your toes.
2) If you have small children, pick them up more. Use the same motion as a squat and make it into a game. You’ll bond and build muscle at the same time.
3) Always use the stairs instead of the elevator. If you’re going to a high floor, get off a couple of floors below and climb the rest of the way.
4) While at work, don’t use the phone. Walk over to a co-workers office for a face-to-face.
5) Pace back and forth whenever you’re talking on the phone.
6) Park farther away when you run errands, and carry shopping bags instead of carting them back to the car.
Make fitness a part of your lifestyle. Did you know that people who naturally fidget (pacing, shifting bodyweight, tapping feet, drumming fingers, etc) can burn up to 500 calories a day just with constant movement?
1) Stand instead of sit whenever possible. If you can adjust your workstation, spend part of the day standing at your desk. You’ll have a tendency to move more and you’ll activate more muscles.
2) Use an exercise ball as a chair. You’ll engage core muscles to balance yourself and it can help to improve posture. You’ll also have a great piece of exercise equipment for some sculpting moves, such as wall squats or crunches.
3) During long periods of sitting, flex and hold your abs or glutes. Or extend your legs one by one to work the quads.
4) Pack your own lunch so that you can use your lunch break to take a walk, climb some stairs, or do some squats.
5) When watching TV, use the commercial breaks to do some interval training. Get in a quick set of jumping jacks or leg raises, instead of running to the kitchen for a snack.
If you already work out, but need to find a way to maintain fitness when you are rushed for time, here are a few ways to maximize every minute.
1) Have you tried Tabata? Pronounced tah-BAH-tah, this is a protocol for high intensity training that takes just 4 minutes a day. Tabata was developed by Dr. Izumi Tabata, who found that a 4 minute intense workout delivered better results than an hour of moderate exercise. For 20 seconds, do an exercise of your choice at maximum intensity and then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat for 8 rounds.
2) Before work, during lunch or in the evening, do some simple body weight exercises, such as holding plank, doing push-ups or chair dips, or lunging.
3) Make your commute into a workout. Ride your bike to work if possible. Get off the bus a few stops early and walk the rest of the way.
4) Use workout DVDs. Invest in your own collection, or check out DVDs from a lending service. You can get a workout done in 20-30 minutes depending on the video, and there are plenty to choose from. You can also get free instruction on YouTube, which has scores of workout videos.
5) Do full-body functional exercises. Sitting at a machine doing bicep curls won’t do much for your overall fitness level, but exercising with RX or kettlebells will engage the whole body and is a smarter, faster way to build muscle and burn calories.
Not all exercise is suitable for everyone. To reduce the risk of injury, consult your doctor before beginning this or any exercise program. The instruction presented herein is in no way intended as a substitute for medical counseling.