If you asked every person to write down a list of life’s top priorities, we’d guess that most people would put maintaining an active lifestyle (or words to that effect) somewhere near the top. But with so many of us leading hectic lives, making us time poor, this is easier said than done, right? To help, we’ve put together six tried and tested strategies that will enable you to incorporate more exercise into your daily life, no matter how busy you are!1. Keep It Simple
We all have small pockets of free time each day which could be used for exercise. To make the most of them, choose a workout that you can perform almost anywhere. Ideally, this will require little to no preparation (probably best to leave the kayaking to the weekend!) and will allow you make significant physical gains in a short time period. In our Gym Jargon Buster blog, we cover several exercise methods, including High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Tabata training, that are perfect for maximising your workouts when you’re low on hours!
2. Pick Exercises You Enjoy
There’s a saying that goes: “Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Similarly, although there will be times when working out is tough, if you pick an activity you enjoy, it will feel less of a slog and more like fun, and you’ll be even more motivated to continue doing it! Just because one of your friends loves running and stacks up some serious miles each week, doesn’t mean you have to. You may much prefer yoga! So, stay true to yourself, be realistic and find a form of exercise that fits your personality, lifestyle and tastes.
3. Enter Competitions
We understand that not everyone’s a fan of competition (in fact, some of us actively shy away from it), but when we’re trying to incorporate more exercise into our lives (and do it with enough intensity to really notice the benefits), it helps to have something to aim for. This could be anything from moving up a leader board at your gym, to preparing for an upcoming cycling race. Whether you’re an elite athlete, complete beginner, or right down the middle, in today’s world, it’s easy to find competitions that are suitable for your ability level in almost any sport. Why not commit to attending your local Parkrun each weekend? It’s free to enter and you can make it competitive by setting yourself the challenge of finishing in a higher position each week. Competition can be healthy, so the motto here is, sign up, set a goal and enjoy the effect it has!
4. Make a Schedule and Stick to It
“I’m too busy today” must be one (if not the) most common reason people give for skipping a workout. While we understand that time can be an issue, it’s certainly not an excuse! The truth is, when we have a strong need or desire to do something, we’ll make time for it. So why should this be any different for exercising? Just as you prioritise other parts of your life, such as going to the dentist or having your hair done, you must also prioritise your workouts. Create a schedule, put it in your diary, stick to it, and remind yourself of the reasons why you’re doing it, whether it’s to lose body fat, improve muscular strength, or simply become healthier and happier.
5. Track Your Workouts
It may be slightly unfair to say that “if you don’t measure it, it doesn’t exist,” but it’s definitely something you should bear in mind when it comes to exercise. Tracking your progress – either through an app or by handwriting it in a notebook – will allow you to monitor your progress and identify both strengths and areas for improvement. Importantly, measuring your activity (and preferably keeping notes on your progress) will flag when you’re starting to slip, meaning you can make adjustments before you’ve completely lost the habit. At the same, seeing all the great work you’ve put in can be extremely motivational and make you more inclined to exercise daily.
6. Just Get Moving!
Remember that any exercise is better than none! You don’t need to spend an hour in the gym each day to complete an effective workout and improve your health. According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, a HIIT workout – which typically lasts for 20 to 30 minutes – burns 25 to 30% more calories than cycling, treadmill running and resistance training. But even if you don’t have 20 minutes to spare, as little as five minutes can make a difference, so the important thing is to just get moving!
As you can see, time (or a lack of) is just an illusion; it’s up to us how we use it and to make every moment count! With an effective programme of short, simple and speedy pre-planned workouts based on exercises you enjoy (with a little bit of competition thrown in), you’ll have no problem incorporating exercise into your daily life, which will do wonders for both your body and mind!At 1Life we’d be delighted to help you create an exercise programme tailored to your goals that works perfectly around your lifestyle. Find your 1Life centre here.