June 13, 2023 5 min read
The following is a guest article from Vitality Pro. Jess is a freelance writer. She is a lover of everything organic and is passionate about making the world last a little longer, one paperless copy at a time.
The truth is, we don’t need to exercise for hours at a time to be healthy. Getting your heart rate up for 150 minutes in a week—that’s 20-30 minutes a day, 5-6 times a week—is all it takes. That’s really not a lot, but in today’s busy world, it can be hard to find the time.
Probably one of the most important parts to note about this health and fitness guideline from the World Health Organization is that any physical activity that raises your heart rate a bit and gets your body moving counts as exercise. This means that you can be as creative as you like with the way you exercise, and can fit getting fit into your schedule.
Here are 4 ideas to get you started:
To keep you on track and motivated it’s always a good idea to start with a workout plan. This will ensure you have the equipment you need and can get going as soon as you start your stopwatch. You don’t want to waste time wondering where your weights are or what you should be doing today. Planning and preparation are the key to maximizing the precious time you spend working out.
When you have a busy schedule, you need to incorporate multitasking into your routine. Fortunately, it’s easy to get your cardio workout at the same time as your strength workout. All you need to do is take a set of dumbbells onto the treadmill with you.
Set the treadmill at a steady walk with a small incline to get your legs and heart pumping. Don’t go too fast because you want to be able to control your movements with the dumbbells. Then you can start doing reps of exercises like biceps and triceps curls. If managing dumbbells and walking doesn't work for you, opt for light ankle and wrist weights instead.
What’s great about exercise routines like Pilates and yoga is that you don’t need to be in a class to do them. All you need is a bit of space in your bedroom or living room and a mat. Of course you can also add blocks, resistance bands, or medicine balls to make your workout more intense.
If you’re new to Pilates or yoga, you can easily find beginner routines on YouTube and other platforms from certified fitness professionals. These will help get you started. Once you know what you’re doing, you can watch your favorite TV shows in the evening when you get home from work while you exercise.
Taking the stairs is so often the advice given to people who find it difficult to make time for exercise or get more active in their daily lives. Yes, taking the stairs is a great idea. However, try to be intentional about it.
Use the stairs as a quick power workout. Try speeding up and seeing how many flights you can do in a minute, and build up how many you get in each time. You could also try taking the steps two at a time to target slightly different muscles to when you take them one at a time.
Did you know that your desk and office chair are all you need for a quick and effective workout routine that you can do at any time? Push your chair out and do some triceps dips on it. Stand up and lean over your desk for some standing push ups. Use the back of your chair or your desk as a stabilizer and do some calf raises. Or invest in a balance boardand stand during calls or meetings.
You can even get your co-workers to join you and make it a group activity every day.
A major part of fitting exercise into your busy schedule is to make it work for you. It’s the same with eating healthy and getting the nutrients you need. You may not have time to make three meals a day, but you can join the growing number of people taking vitamins and supplements to optimize your well-being. It’s all about how you work with your time and manage your lifestyle.
Use these tips to keep your workout schedule on track:
If you’re struggling to find time for exercise, you’ll definitely not make the effort if it’s exercise you don’t want to do. Find options that you like. If you hate running, rather take a dance class for that aerobic hit. If CrossFit is too intense, find a gentler body conditioning regime.
A busy life is usually one that’s got a full calendar. If you put your exercise and workouts into your calendar or your to-do list for the day, you know you actually do have time for them. Make your gym class or your run or your workout session at home in front of your TV an event on your calendar. You can even set reminders for yourself so that you know you’ve got ten minutes before it’s time to exercise.
The best way to work some cardio and active minutes into your day is by changing how you commute to the office or work every day. If you use public transport, try getting off the bus or train one stop earlier and walking the extra distance. If you drive, try a parking spot that’s a bit further away than your usual one and to get some extra walking time in.
A key point to remember is that some exercise is always going to be better than no exercise. Start small—aim for two sessions a week and build on this. Once you’re in the habit of exercising, you’ll find that you have more time in your schedule for it
You’ll also find that your body and mind really enjoys the endorphin kick it brings, so you’ll want to make even more time to work out. Soon, it’ll be a priority that you add to your calendar and plan other tasks and activities around!