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How To Exercise When You Really Don’t Have Time

How To Exercise When You Really Don’t Have Time

Over the years in my job as a trainer and coach, I have found that those who don’t exercise have one or two excuses. The excuses are: they don’t have time, or they don’t like it.

I know there are many people who would like to exercise, but think they don’t have time, so today we’ll talk about how to exercise when you don’t have time.

Exercise means different things to different people. If you think that exercise is one hour a day, five days a week, and you are working 40–60 hours per week with family and social duties in between, then you don’t have time to do this sort of exercise.

But if you change your mindset to consider that exercise is simply a deliberate attempt at moving around more vigorously than usual, then no matter how busy you are, you definitely have time to exercise.

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Here’s a list of exercises you can do when you don’t have time to exercise:

Wake up 20 minutes earlier

Have your exercise clothes laid out ready the night before (or even sleep in them), set your alarm, and head outside for some sprints – uphill if you can. Warm up for three minutes with some brisk walking, then sprint all out for 20 seconds, then rest for two minutes. Repeat for five to eight sprints, then walk home.

This session doesn’t take long. It will wake you up and energize you for the morning, and is a great way to burn fat and boost your metabolism.

When the kettle is boiling

You have a minute or two here to pair some push ups with some squats. Do 10 push ups followed by 10 squats. Repeat this as many times as possible while the kettle is boiling for your morning cup of coffee. Keep track of how many rounds you can do this for, and aim to increase this each morning.

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Commuting to work

Walking, running or cycling to work would be perfect, but not everyone is able to do that. Whether you’re driving or catching public transport, now is a good time to do some ab work. Don’t worry – you don’t have to bust out some sit ups on the floor of the train carriage.

While you’re sitting, simply brace your abs as hard as you can for 10 seconds. You can make this quite tough with a very strong muscle contraction. Do this 5–10 times.

Walking meetings

When you have meetings at work, see if you can introduce walking meetings. This is a great way to get some fresh air while talking, and can often be more productive. As you return to work, the meeting naturally winds up. So not only can this be a more productive meeting, but it can be shorter too.

Standing meetings

Standing instead of sitting in meetings also improves time and productivity in the meeting. Although standing is not exercise, it’s better than sitting. If possible, you can practice your ab bracing.

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Lunchtime exercise

Lunchtime is the perfect time for structured exercise. If there is a gym nearby, then this is the perfect time to go. You will feel refreshed and more focused after exercise, so you will work better in the afternoon.

If possible, you could also look into a wellness program at work. These are becoming more popular. Having a personal trainer come to the building and run a group exercise session at lunch time improves morale and productivity for employees. A quality workout will only take 20–30 minutes, and you will hopefully still have time for lunch. If not, simply eat at your desk afterwards.

While dinner is cooking

Most meals take around 15–30 minutes to cook. If you plan your meal so that it simply sits in the oven, or bubbles on the stove, then you can do some activity instead of watching the pot boil.

During this time you can do some high intensity intervals such as skipping, running on the spot, bodyweight exercises such as mountain climbers or burpees, or even some kettlebell swings if you have a kettlebell.

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Choose two or three intense movements, and alternate them. A good format is 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest. Repeat this 10–15 times. Once you’re done, dinner will be ready!

 

As you can see, it is very simple to include exercise in your day, even if you are very busy. Pick one or two of these ideas and give them a go. You do have time to exercise – you just have to be creative about it.

Featured photo credit: untitled / ashraful kadir via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 25, 2021

What Should I Do Today? 30 New Things To Do Today

What Should I Do Today? 30 New Things To Do Today

It’s always fun to do something new, but often we fall into the trap of spending our weekends the same way.

If you’re stuck in the same old routine, it might be time to try something new.

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What should I do today? No ideas?

Everything listed here is something you can easily do no matter where you live, and even on a tight budget! Try out one of these 30 new things today, you’ll be happy you did.

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Try Out These 30 New Things To Do Today

  1. Visit a suburb in your city that you’ve never been to before, or somewhere you haven’t explored much.
  2. Learn ten phrases in a new language–what about Japanese, Italian or Portuguese?
  3. Listen to a genre of music you haven’t tried before–perhaps Jazz, Punk or Blues?
  4. Have a picnic in your local park complete with a packed lunch and your animal friends.
  5. Start a daily journal to write your thoughts in.
  6. Try a new cuisine–what about French, Lebanese or Korean?
  7. Visit your local library and borrow some books for the weekend.
  8. Plant some flowers in your garden. If you don’t have one, try an indoor potted plant.
  9. Visit a local museum or art gallery and view their latest exhibition.
  10. Learn a new skill–what about sewing, gardening or cooking? You’ll be surprised what you can learn in an afternoon.
  11. Say hello to a neighbor you don’t usually talk to.
  12. Make a card for a friend and send it to them with a handwritten note.
  13. Learn how to cook a new dish for dinner. We all get tired of eating the same thing, why not try making something new?
  14. Re-read an old favorite book. Don’t leave it gathering dust on your book shelf; get it out and read it all over again.
  15. Research the culture of a different country online–what about India, Guatemala or Sweden?
  16. Go for a walk or bicycle ride around your neighborhood.
  17. Watch a classic film like Casablanca, The Godfather or The Wizard of Oz.
  18. Make a photo album of a recent holiday you took. Don’t let your memories get lost on your computer hard drive; make a special keepsake album of your trip.
  19. Visit your local farmers markets and pick out some fresh produce. Farmers markets are full of delicious fresh fruit, veggies and more. Find your local market and take a visit.
  20. Plan a day trip to somewhere outside your city–it might be the seaside, mountains or another city!
  21. Check out what community events are running in your area and attend one.
  22. Make a birthday present for a friend. Handmade gifts are personal and much more special than anything you could buy from a store.
  23. Attend a play at your local theater. Support your local theater and have a fun night out at the same time.
  24. Volunteer with your local nature conservation society to plant some trees. Conservation societies are always looking for helping hands; do your bit and plant some trees.
  25. Be a tourist in your own city and visit all the popular tourist sites you’ve likely never been to (don’t forget your camera!)
  26. Call a friend you haven’t spoken to recently and have a good long chat.
  27. Put on your favorite song and dance your heart out. You might be surprised at how much fun you have!
  28. Invite some friends over for a BBQ. There’s nothing better than an afternoon spent with good friends and good food.
  29. Try out a new form of exercise like Pilates, tennis or swimming.
  30. Organize a clothing swap with your friends. You’ll have a great time, and save some cash and the environment all at the same time!

Now that you’ve read my list of 30 new things to try today, my question for you is, “what new things will you try today?”

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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