There are those of us who are balancing multiple roles — as parent, worker, spouse, volunteer, household manager, etc. — often find that 24 hours per day simply aren’t enough to find time to go to the gym. Fitness gets put on the back burner.
Even if you’re lucky enough to be able to set aside time to work out, things like school holidays, childhood illnesses, and workday crises have a way of eating up these extra hours along with our best intentions.
You may not have time to go to the gym, but you can still be physically active and boost your metabolism by using a bit of creativity in planning your day.
Here are some ways to fit exercise into a packed-full day:
- If you’ve got a young sports enthusiast in the family, play along. Shooting baskets and kicking a soccer ball around the yard are great ways to get your heart pumping. Thirty minutes of cardio training are recommended, but even five to 10 minutes will elevate your energy and speed your metabolism.
- Take the kids for a walk or just go by yourself. If their pace is too slow, add some lunges, jumping jacks, or running in place every few minutes to make yourself work harder.
- Pull young children in a wagon through the neighborhood. Or give them a ride in a jogging stroller.
- Let little children ride bicycles or tricycles while you jog behind.
- Get into some vigorous sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming. These types of housekeeping chores can burn a significant number of calories.
- We’ve all heard the benefits of taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Everything you’ve heard is true.
- Likewise, getting off the bus or subway a stop or two before your destination on a regular basis adds up to a lot of heart-healthy walking.
- Do yoga or Pilates while you, or the kids, unwind in front of a movie. While watching TV, do push-ups or sit-ups during commercials. Even one per commercial during a two-hour movie can give you some good exercise.
- In a sedentary job, take your breaks outdoors and have a brisk, short walk. You’ll also improve your concentration and mood.
- Dance or do aerobics at home. No one is watching, anyway. If you like, include the little ones and turn it into a game.
- Practice stretching or light yoga moves while talking on the phone, listening to the news, or while dinner is cooking.
- Find the high-energy items on your to-do list and tackle these when you need physical activity. Think about washing the car, digging the garden, mowing the lawn, or reorganizing a closet.
- Get up 15 to 30 minutes earlier than the rest of the family and use this time for a run, a walk, or some stretching and yoga.
The top 10 tips to keep us motivated, fit and healthy
1. Eat Well
Studies have shown around 80% of any fitness goal depends on your diet, be it weight loss, muscular development or training for an event. Eating a good balance of clean carbohydrates, fresh protein and healthy fats will give you the energy to aid your fitness challenge and show results quickly.
For the most part when coaching clients through weight loss and definition, I advise eating three meals and two snacks to help keep your metabolism burning at a constant rate.
When planning meals and cooking, look at the labels for the content of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. You should aim for around:
– 45% Carbohydrates – preferably natural and non-starchy… no genetically enhanced products (e.g. pasta, bread, white rice)
– 30% Protein – preferably low fat cuts of meat and fish, nuts, soy beans and pulses are also great sources of protein
– 25% Fats – again nuts and seeds are great sources, as well as avocado and oily fish.
2. Keep Hydrated
Hydration is key to staying healthy; after all, the brain is made up of around 70% water.
A question I always get asked is ‘how much water should I drink?’ well that depends on you; a minimum for any adult should be two litres of water a day but a simple bit of math will help you find a more personal amount:
Body weight KG x 0.03 = MINIMUM DAILY WATER INTAKE
It sounds like a lot of water to drink, but it will wash out salts, toxins and aid with the body’s recovery from exercise.
3. Regular Exercise
Working out three to four times per week is a great place to start, once you have your routine, stick to it and you will see the benefits. You’ll notice increased energy levels and your body will begin to adapt. That fitness goal will become ever closer.
If you struggle for time, write down everything you have to do for the week, find a spare 30 to 60 minutes each day and dedicate that to your health, either workout, walk to the shops rather than drive or simply relax; take time to lie down and just relax.
4. Routine and Variety
Set a plan! Be it a monthly, weekly or daily. Just a little effort of 20 minutes planning will make a world of difference to your workouts and general health.
You will know what you have to do and when, spreading your workouts and activities over the week will give your body time to recover and allow you to enjoy exercise. Incorporating different styles of exercise will help you to enjoy yourself as well as seeing results in your skill development and health.
5. Professional Advice
Seeking advice from health and fitness professionals can open doors you never knew existed. There are thousands of online blogs, Facebook pages and Tweets you can follow and pick up free tips and advice.
Never be afraid to ask, that’s why health and fitness professionals exist, no matter the question, a good professional will give you an answer or pass you on to someone who may have a better knowledge in the particular subject.
6. New Skills
As well as the obvious physical benefits, learning a new skill has great mental benefits too. It’s always good to keep your body and brain guessing. Try new activities; there are opportunities everywhere to learn new skills from athletics to yoga or the less traditional forms of exercise such as rock climbing, boxing, rowing or canoeing.
Share your stories about exercise with friends and introduce them to your new passion, a bit of friendly competition never hurts.
7. Why, How, When and What?
A great way to set fitness and health goals is simply by asking yourself why you are doing what you are doing, how you are going to do it and when you want to achieve it by.
WHY – choose a goal
HOW – create a plan, measure your progress with photos, body fat analysis and diameter measurements. Seek advice on the most efficient techniques and tips for that specific goal.
WHEN – pick a deadline of when you want to achieve your goal by, and stick to it.
WHAT – seek professional advice of what exercises to perform, you can find many good workouts online.
When looking to develop and maintain fitness and health, a balanced lifestyle is very important. When starting a fitness journey be sure to schedule rest days into your programme as well as a balance between cardiovascular and resistance exercise. Without rest, our bodies don’t have time to repair and develop from exercise.
Equally we need to find the correct personal ratio of work: exercise: rest.
I often hear ‘I just haven’t got time to work out’. Remember just 30 minutes of exercise can increase your fitness levels, if that means eating lunch at your desk and using half of your lunch break to exercise, that could be a sacrifice to be made.
You need to make change to see a change.
9. Relaxing and Sleep
A lot of us have forgotten how to relax. We often find ourselves carrying stress and tension in our muscles, when sometimes all we need to do is lie down and allow ourselves to relax, clear our minds of all thoughts and just listen to your body.
When the body is relaxing it is able to repair, after efforts of exercise, it will also relax the mind enabling you to mentally focus. Being mentally focused is almost as important as the exercise itself. To achieve any life goals you must believe in yourself.
Enjoy what you are doing, if you enjoy your exercise you will work harder.
Choose activities you think you’ll enjoy, try new activities, if you don’t enjoy them at least you know you’ve tried.
Just because the food you eat is healthier, doesn’t mean it needs to be tasteless and boring, add spices and natural flavors, and be adventurous when cooking your healthy meals.Read More
Here are 8 reasons why exercise is great for so much more than just looking good naked.
1. Exercise Reduces Stress: At the end of a long and stressful day, believe it or not, exercise is your friend. It might be the last thing you feel like doing (especially when bed and Netflix is calling your name), but working up a sweat is a massive stress reliever that’ll have you feeling amazing in no time. Working out helps to manage physical and mental stress because it increases the amount of norepinephrine in your brain.
2. Eases Anxiety: By exercising, you can also reduce symptoms of anxiety. The chemicals your brain releases before or after exercise can help you calm down. It’s no wonder I start to feel like I am loosing my sanity if I don’t exercise for a couple of days.
3. Boosts Your Mood: Exercise makes you happy. Well, it certainly does for me and there is actually proof to this claim as well. You have probably heard about the feel-good hormones known as endorphins. Well these little guys are released in the brain during exercise, which leads to feelings of happiness. And happiness is just the best! In fact, studies have shown that exercise can help elevate symptoms of depression in clinically depressed individuals. Pretty cool.
4. Increases Your Energy Levels: It sounds crazy but exerting energy with a killer workout actually increases your energy levels. The days when I wake up an hour earlier to exercise before work, I actually have way more energy throughout the day than when I don’t. Not to mention that endorphin hit puts you in the best mood for the rest of the day.
5. Improves Self-confidence: The more you workout, the better you eat and the better you feel. Then you start to notices changes and you start to feel more confident. When you do things that make your body feel good, you start feeling good about yourself as well. Just knowing you are taking positive steps to live a healthier lifestyle and increase your fitness is enough to boost your self-image.
6. Exercise Helps With Creativity and Increases Productivity: Did you know that working out can increase your brain activity for up to two hours post-workout? Well you do now. I for one feel most productive after exercising. It’s like all my creative energy explodes, all my inspiration and momentum to ‘get s**t done’ comes to life. So the next time you need some inspiration or can’t seem to escape the procrastinating zone, try lacing up your sneakers and hitting the gym.
7. Boosts Brain Function: As we get older, our brain starts to slow down but with daily exercise you can decrease the likelihood of Alzheimer’s and other types of cognitive decline. Cardiovascular exercise also creates new brain cells, which improves our overall brain function and performance.
8. Helps Control Addictions: When you exercise, your brain releases a reward chemical, which is similar to the reward chemical that you feel in response to sex, drug and even food. This is where addictions can come into play, as people can become addicted to dopamine. Luckily, exercise also releases dopamine – and working out is something worth getting addicted to.Read More