Struggling to make exercise a priority? Try these ten tips for incorporating 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity into your day.
1. Never miss a Monday
Research shows you’re most likely to fall off the fitness bandwagon later in the week. Take advantage of that ‘fresh start’ mentality with a Monday morning sweat session.
2. To dust is a must
You bend to vacuum and stretch to hang out the washing, so start thinking of housework as a fee-free gym class. The more muscle you put into your chores, the more your body will benefit.
3. Start with 10 minutes
You know what they say – it all adds up. And it’s true! When you don’t have time to fit in a 30-minute workout, break it into three shorter 10-minute bouts across the day. Every bit counts!
4. Take the stairs
It’s an oldie but a goodie. The problem is that taking the lift or escalator is the norm these days, so break that habit and start a beneficial one by climbing the stairs whenever possible.
5. Stand and deliver
Standing for three hours at work could burn an extra 600kJ (144cal) per day. Stand up while you’re talking on the phone or in meetings, and take frequent trips to the printer and water cooler.
6. Track your steps
A pedometer or fitness-tracking app on your phone is a great way to stay motivated and accountable. Aim to take 8000 to 10,000 steps a day, then challenge yourself to beat your previous day’s step count.
7. Put it in the diary
Just as you’d pencil in a doctor’s appointment or lunch date with a friend, make exercise a non-negotiable activity that’s simply part of your daily routine. Don’t think – just do!
8. Squat breaks
Burn extra kilojoules during those incessant ad breaks on TV by doing squats, lunges, push-ups or sit-ups. If you do one exercise per ad break, it can painlessly add up to six different exercises over just one hour!
9. Garden with gusto
Digging, weeding, planting and mowing help fire up the muscles in your arms, shoulders, calves, thighs and glutes. It’s a full-body workout! You could burn 800kJ (191cal) in just 30 minutes.
10. Listen and learn
Download a podcast or audiobook, but only listen when you’re out walking or running. You’ll want to keep on listening to find out what happens next, so you’ll be more motivated to keep moving.