Physical activity is great for your mind and body, but sometimes the motivation to get moving can be hard to come by. Other times a busy schedule leaves us with limited time to be active, or feelings of fatigue that make it harder to head to the gym for a good workout.
For those occasions when you’re short on time, energy, or motivation, here are a few simple yet fun and creative ways to get more physical activity into your day.
Write It Down
Grab some slips of paper and a pen and write down as many different types of exercises as you can think of, putting a different exercise on each slip. For variety, include strength training and cardio exercises, as well as yoga, pilates and stretching exercises. Store your collection of exercises in a shoe box or bag.
When you’re in a rush or looking to shake up your exercise routine, grab a handful of exercises and do them for a quick workout. How much time you have will determine how many exercises you grab, and you won’t get bored since choosing at random means that each routine will be different. You can do each exercise for a set amount of time, or see how many repetitions you can do before reaching fatigue.
Watching TV is one of the most sedentary activities we engage in. When you sit down to watch your favourite shows, hours can pass before you know it. Worse yet, we tend to eat unhealthy snacks as we sit in front the screen. The combination of TV and unhealthy food is bad for our activity levels and our waistlines.
You can cut down on your sedentary time and increase physical activity while enjoying your favourite shows with this simple exercise hack:
Try doing some of your favourite exercises during commercial breaks, (or for the streaming TV binge watchers out there, after each episode). Give yourself a challenge by seeing how many jumping jacks, lunges or squats you can do in a set time. Aim to beat your personal best each time around.
Walking is one of the simplest forms of activity, but with the conveniences of modern day life, many of us go through our days without doing much of it. Pedometers are a fun way to keep track of how much you walk, they give you an incentive to keep walking, and you can easily transform your smart phone into a pedometer by downloading a free app.
Get creative about ways that you can increase your steps throughout your day. Walk over to a co-worker rather than calling, take a walk around the building during you mid-morning work break, make several trips while taking in the groceries from the car. Don’t forget to stay motivated by checking your steps at the end of the day and congratulating yourself on a job well done.
We all have a daily routine, and we spend hours each day on activities like showering, doing our hair, cooking, cleaning and doing the laundry. Some of these activities can become quite monotonous; but what if you could shake up your routine, add some fun to your activities and reap the benefits of exercise all in one go?
Think about how you can make your daily tasks more active. Put on the radio while you cook and dance your way to the fridge, do a few bicep curls or overhead presses as you lug your hamper of dirty clothes to the washing machine. March in place as you brush your teeth, or set yourself a goal of mopping the floor in half the time it usually takes, and get your heart pumping as you get the floor sparkling.