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A long, strenuous workout is difficult. Not just physically, but logistically too. Between work, social life, sleep, and everyday responsibilities, sometimes the hardest part of maintaining fitness is simply making it fit. If you have trouble getting a workout into your schedule, try these 10 tips!
This time of year, it can be especially easy to let your workout routine slip. The days are getting shorter, we’ve all begun to get back into a steady routine after the run of public holidays, and there’s not as much motivation to head outside now the mid year chill is starting to set in.
Never fear – you can still keep on top of your basic cardio and strength training, even if you don’t have time to hit the gym.
It just takes a little creativity. As a starting point, try these 10 easy techniques.
1. Take the stairs. Or whatever the equivalent.
Take the stairs instead of the lift. That’s both a physical instruction, and the sort of mindset you’ve got to adopt. There are hundreds of physical challenges you can undertake throughout the day, even when you work an inner-city office job. You just need to hone your mindset (and your perspective) to ensure you make the most of them.
2. Sit. Don’t rest.
Even when you’re sitting at a desk, there are things you can be doing to work your core. Maintaining good posture can help in conditioning your deep abdominal muscles, and is linked to alleviating back pain too.
Simply making sure you avoid slouching can make a difference. It sounds inconsequential, but holding good posture throughout the day can work your deep core muscles to the point where you no longer have to think about using them! You can also gently glide your shoulder blades together to prevent the ‘hunch back’ look. It’s a low investment, high return workout, and you can do it all day. Plus, good posture makes you look more confident and capable in general – perfect for the workplace.
3. Eliminate instant messenger.
IM, email, internal phone lines: they all have their place in the workplace, whatever your profession. But we also managed without them for quite a while.
Get back in touch with your colleagues: get up every now and then and opt for a face-to-face interaction, instead of firing off a quick email. You’ll get the physical benefit and a social one too!
4. Take advantage of time in lieu.
Every single day is made up of hundreds of micro-moments. The key is to take advantage of them. Say you’re waiting for the shower to heat up in the morning – instead of standing there and shivering, why not try some one leg squats? During this, be sure you’re keeping an eye on your hip bones staying level. Do the same while your dinner’s heating up, or during the ad breaks in your favourite TV show (or, more likely, in between episodes on Netflix!). Squeeze in some gluteal tenses any time you’re standing around or waiting for something. It all counts!
5. Get some play in your day.
If you’ve got a strong competitive spirit, challenge yourself. Gamify your mini work-outs. For example, if you’re doing a quick set of push-ups in a spare moment, take note of how many you can do in a row, and then try to break your own record the next time you have a free minute. It’ll keep the workout top-of-mind and should inspire you to push harder through each of the mini-sets.
6. Find ways to get fit on your commute.
When you’re trying to sneak a workout into a busy schedule, time neutral exercise can be your best friend. Find a way to get fit on your way to or from work.
Riding your bike is a great way to relieve the stress of the commute and reap the benefits of a morning workout – and with our handy guide to cycling throughout winter, it’s never been easier to take a morning ride to work. Don’t have the luxury of riding or running to the office? No problem, get off the train or tram a couple of stops early and sneak in an extended stroll.
7. Limber up over lunch.
Even if you’re not the type to bring a change of clothes and sweat it up over your lunch break, try to leave your desk a few times each day. Just for a short while. Take a walk around the area near your workplace. Or, try a couple of these techniques in the spare time you have after you’ve finished eating.
8. Get fit with friends.
You’re much more likely to stick to your training program if someone else is counting on you. Whether you work out with a like-minded colleague over lunch, meet someone for a walk after work, or go for a jog with a four-legged friend early in the morning – find someone who relies on you for their workout, and you’ll find you’re much more reliable in completing your own.
Plus, exercise often feels easier when you’ve got someone alongside you. It’s more enjoyable to shoot the breeze while jogging than it is to gasp and splutter in (relative) solitary silence.
9. Track your progress.
This one’s closely related to tip number 5 – if you’re going to be pushing hard to break your own personal records, you should keep a record of them. Use an exercise or note-taking app to keep a log of your results. It’s an awesome feeling to watch your own progress. It’s a simple source of inspiration and motivation to keep you going through the day(s).
10. And… drumroll… do something you enjoy!
Remember, this is all supposed to be fun. If you’re having consistent difficulty finding time for your fitness routine, maybe it’s time to change it up. Try something new and you might find it suits your lifestyle better! Then you won’t have to ‘sneak’ it in at all!
*** If you’re looking for a new fitness program, or some assistance working out the kinks so you can keep on with your current one, the team at Pure Physio can always help. Get in touch to make an appointment today!