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Getting fit and staying in shape is notoriously tricky. Many people would like to improve their fitness levels, but find that life gets in the way. For most people, the new year always brings lots of good intentions, but by February, it is all too easy to slip back into bad habits and forget about your good plans for the year ahead. From being too tired to exercise, and being short of time, through to a lack of confidence, there are many barriers both physical and emotional that people face in pursuit of their health and fitness goals. Busy lifestyles are the norm now for many people, which, when paired with a sedentary job, can mean opportunities to exercise and be active are few and far between.
When your motivation to exercise is lagging, but you want to see results fast, you may be in search of a quick fix. The health and fitness market is a lucrative industry with many different training programmes and products available to those in search of the perfect body. From protein shakes to prohormones, there is an overwhelming choice of products on the market designed to help people achieve the body of their dreams. However, for many people finding the time to fit exercise into their day is an effective way to make significant positive improvements to their health and fitness in the long term.
Here are some of the ways that extra exercise can be added to even the busiest schedule:
Beat the Jam
Do you get sick of spending your daily commute in what seems like the same traffic jam every day? Navigating your way through rush hour on your drive to work can be a stressful experience. Instead of being stuck sat in the car staring at the same traffic lights each day, why not get moving instead?
Walking or cycling to work is an excellent way to take more control over your journey and to put a spring in your step. Fitting some exercise into the start of your day will help you to feel energised for the day ahead, and if you track your steps, it is an excellent way to increase your step count. Another bonus of walking or cycling is that you are doing your bit for the environment by reducing your carbon footprint, as well as saving yourself money on petrol and car park costs.
If you don’t feel like walking or cycling every day, then how about introducing it a couple of days of the week to start with, and then building up gradually from there?
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Make it a Sociable Event
Finding spare time to see friends and family can be difficult when you are busy. Combining exercising with socialising is the ideal solution when you are short on time and don’t want to sacrifice time spent with your family. Instead of meeting for a meal or a coffee, why not try something a little more active instead?
Taking a walk together is an excellent way to spend quality time with a loved one enjoying each other’s company and getting some exercise at the same time. Head off together and explore exciting new places to make your time spent together even more special. Whether you take a stroll along the beach or a ramble through the countryside, getting active and being in the great outdoors surrounded by nature and loved ones can help to boost your mood too.
Bring Baby Along
For many new parents, a desire to exercise becomes a problem when you have no childcare. Finding someone to watch your baby while you work up a sweat at the gym, or head to the pool to swim a few lengths can be tricky. Luckily, there are some alternative options for parents that want to exercise but don’t have any childcare.
A new wave of fitness classes is growing in popularity designed specifically for parents with little ones in tow. Exercise classes where you bring your baby along with you mean that you can get your fitness fix while keeping baby close by while you work out. Classes available vary from yoga to trampolining.
If you are looking for outdoor fitness sessions, then many areas have outdoor fitness classes where parents can attend with the baby in a pram. These sessions are not only a great way to improve your fitness, but they are also a brilliant opportunity to meet other parents too.
Move More and Multitask
Fitting small bursts of exercise into everyday life can add up to a big difference in the amount of time you spend exercising each day, as well as the number of calories that you burn each week. Try embracing the housework as an exercise opportunity – you will be surprised at how many calories vacuuming uses up!
Try doing some star jumps while you are waiting for the kettle to boil, or lunges while you are waiting for a pan to heat up. These small steps will help you to keep moving throughout the day.
Look for Exercise Opportunities
While multitasking brings many extra opportunities to get moving, you don’t have to stop there. Boosting your overall activity levels means seeking out extra opportunities to add some additional fitness activities into your day.
Instead of being stuck at your desk eating a soggy sandwich on your lunch break, you could enjoy a walk in the fresh air instead. Taking a break and heading outdoors not only increases your activity levels, but the fresh air will leave you feeling refreshed, energised, and ready for whatever the afternoon has in store for you.
Consider walking as your main mode of getting around as opposed to using the car every day. If it is realistic for you to walk somewhere rather than drive, why not choose to walk instead of hopping in the car each time. After a while, you may find that walking instead of driving becomes a healthy new habit that you actually enjoy, and you may prefer it.