Last week a client said this to me:
“I wish I could go to the gym but it’s hard to find the time!
Are there things we can do every day, without going to the gym, that count as good exercise?
I don’t always want to go to the gym and the thought of going for a run doesn’t really appeal to me!”
Ideally, most of us would like to hit the gym and fit in some form of daily exercise.
But sometimes, life can get the best of us and we’re too busy and swamped with things to do to actually make it to the gym and get a workout in.
Not just that – but the gym and going for a run outdoors doesn’t always sound like the most appealing thing!
For years people assumed that you needed to break a sweat, or at least raise your heart rate for a prolonged period of time for an activity to count towards exercise.
But that’s not the case!
It’s been proven that short bursts of higher intensity exercise are beneficial for our health when we’re strapped for time…
We all know that running on the treadmill gets our heart rate up and that doing Pilates can help build our core, but what most people don’t realise is there are plenty of opportunities during your day to sneak exercise into your routine…
… while also crossing things off your to-do list.
It’s a win-win!
Not every workout has to include a 6 mile run or intense workout session in the gym.
If you find yourself struggling to get a daily workout in – here’s some everyday activities that you can count as exercise and not feel pressed for time…
This one might sound obvious – and it is! Walking is one of the most underrated forms of exercise.
Walking at a good pace is still a cardiovascular output so you don’t need to be running outside or on a treadmill.
At some point every day, you’ll be walking, so try to add some more time and distance while you’re doing it.
Even just 20 minutes a day can count towards daily exercise.
If you find it “boring” – try walking with friends, listen to your favourite music, or even pick a destination you want to walk to and enjoy a tea or coffee when you get there?
Knowing I have a destination in mind at the end of my walks makes it that much better!
Taking The Stairs
Again, another one you’ve probably heard before – but the stairs are one of the easiest ways to get more activity into your day.
Everyone knows how tough the stairs are – that’s why lifts and escalators were invented.
Walking up the stairs is great!
You have to use your body weight to make your way up them, while engaging all the muscles in your legs too.
Next time you have the option between taking the lift or the stairs – stop, think about it and take the stairs instead.
You’ll begin to feel more energetic, boost your immune system, and even lower your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Have you ever noticed after scrubbing the floor or cleaning the bathroom that you find yourself feeling tired and hot?
That’s because cleaning the house is actually a good workout and can be a decent calorie burner, especially if it’s a household chore that has you constantly engaged.
Cleaning the windows, cleaning the bathroom, the kitchen top to bottom and running the vacuum around will keep your heart rate up.
Now there’s a reason to do the housework more often 😉
Whether you’re buying the weekly food shop or hunting down the perfect new pair of shoes, shopping means walking and that means burning calories – up to 200 per hour if you’re walking at a good pace.
Take the stairs rather than the escalator, park your car further away so you can get more steps in, take the longer route around the shops – there’s plenty of easy and realistic ways to get a good workout in from going to the shops.
Weeding, watering, carrying heavy bags of soil, cutting the lawn, planting pots…
They will all get a good burn on and engage a lot of the muscles in your body.
Not just that, getting outside to take care of the garden means you get out in the fresh air and exposed to plenty of sunlight – and we all know how good vitamin D is for you.
Next time there’s a sunny day, take advantage of it and get moving in the garden – it’s even classes as a moderate to high intensity exercise!
The more activities you can fit in the day, the more physically active you are, so use that as an excuse to get all your errands done.
It might make doing them more “enjoyable” – if that’s possible 😉