Finding time to exercise between a busy job and other commitments can be difficult. But no more excuses! With a little planning, it’s easy to sneak a little incidental exercise into your daily routine. Don’t underestimate mini exercises or efforts for a more active lifestyle which can lead to an improved immune system, overall health, and weight loss or maintenance.
Trust us, your body will thank us!
1. Eliminate shortcuts
Ditch the escalator or elevator in favour of the stairs. Stair climbing is a highly beneficial exercise as it helps with cardio health, bone strength, general strength, body toning, and weight loss. For added intensity, skip steps or increase your speed. Bonus points to this exercise for all the awkward elevator silences you get to avoid!
Besides stair-climbing, eliminate other shortcuts like parking right at the entrance of a building. Park a little further from the entrance and sneak in a brisk walk. Instead of driving, take public transportation so you get exercise from standing in the LRT or KTM, and extra walk time to stations or stops.
2. Active play dates or date nights
Instead of happy hour or dinner plans, gather your friends at your neighbourhood tennis court, basketball court, or indoor futsal arena. This way, you get to hang out with your sweetheart and friends, team-build, and squeeze in much-needed exercise. Better yet, these activities are cheap or even free.
If your friends aren’t exactly sportsmen and sportswomen, try cycling, swimming, or jogging at your neighbourhood park or places like Lake Gardens.
3. Get up and go speak to people in your office
We love messenger apps because it means that we can quickly ping our colleague from the finance department or send a funny joke to a friend in the sales division. But it also makes us more than a little lazy! Get off your butt and walk over to your workmate for a chat instead. This allows you to stretch your body and if you do it enough, earns you some incidental cardio! Plus, it has the added benefit of giving your eyes a break from the harsh lighting of your computer screen.
4. Do your chores
We don’t mean to sound like your parents, but do your chores! Chores like car washing, sweeping and mopping and grocery shopping take up a lot of energy. This means that you burn calories, do cardio duty, and train your strength when you carry buckets of water or a week’s worth of milk.
So the next time you’re thinking about sending your car in for a wash or hiring a part time cleaner, try doing those chores to collect exercise (and brownie) points.
5. Add exercise to your TV time
Watching your favourite comedy show while letting your brain checkout is a good way to unwind. Use commercial breaks to do quick exercises like crunches, lunges, and squats. Simply search for those exercises on Youtube so the next time The Voice goes to ad-break, you can squeeze one or two reps in.
If you’re ready for a bigger commitment, spend some money on a treadmill and run during TV time!
6. Take time-out at work
Every few hours at the office, break from your spreadsheets and charts to do quick and easy exercises. Go to a quieter side of the office and try out simple exercises like wall sits, toe touches, torso twists, and more.
These help increase your heart rate, burn calories, and improve flexibility. You also get to stretch and escape from plunging performance graphs for a while.
7. Lift weights
Weight lifting is not reserved for Olympic and power lifters. You too can benefit from simple weight lifting using small hand weights. Bring a hand weight to a conference or carry it around while walking. Learn exercises like bicep curls, shoulder presses, and more.
These simple weight workouts help tone your upper body and improve muscular functioning. See here for more arm and shoulder workouts.
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