Fitness does not need to consist of an hour workout at the gym. There are creative ways to add in extra quality fat-burning movements into our days. Here are a few ideas to make sure you “find” time to exercise.
# 1 SCHEDULE A RECURRING APPOINTMENT WITH YOURSELF
You need to protect yourself from yourself. Scheduling time in your calendar to workout is imperative. There will be so many distractions that will keep you busy and keep you from your workouts. Make yourself a priority and book your workout times in advance.
The other reason you need a recurring appointment with yourself is to avoid decision fatigue. Yes, it’s a thing. Think of your willpower as a muscle. The more you work it (make decisions), the weaker it gets. After a long day at work, you feel drained and your brain is tired of making decisions. You may want to go to the gym but your brain can’t make anymore decisions and the default is to veg on the couch. Side note: This also explains why you are eating chips on the couch when your goal is to lose weightOur decision-making quality deteriorates the more decisions we make throughout the day.
An appointment also makes you accountable. At NC Fitness, we schedule your weekly workouts in advance. This way, you are relieved from making a decision (you made it at the beginning) and you are accountable to your coach (ME!) and your fitness family.
#2 EXERCISE IN YOUR SPARE MOMENTS.
Extra movements matter. All your activities accumulate and add to your metabolic fire – the calories your burn. Here are a few ideas of adding activity into your spare moments:
- watching your favourite tv show, do jumping jacks, crunches etc
- talking on the phone, walk the stairs, do squats or lunges
- doing laundry, pound out a couple bicep curls with that heavy laundry basket
- standing at the sink doing dishes – do calf raises or plies
- waiting for a pot to boil or your nails to dry – do some push ups from the counter, or chair toe taps (or toilet toe taps – haha)
- blow-drying your hair – do knee lifts or rear leg lifts
The possibilities are endless, just use your imagination!
#3 GO FOR A 10-MINUTE POWER WALK
Take a “walking break”. Studies have proven that walking regularly will increase your lifespan. It also improves your metabolism, memory and immune system. Walking increases your energy and enhances your creative juices. Is there a problem you are trying to solve? Go for a walk and you’ll be surprised at the ideas that will come to you. Walking has so many amazing benefits and it’s so easy.
Want to burn more calories while you walk? Make your 10 minute walking break a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout. Take 20 seconds out of every minute and walk as fast as you possibly can. This will definitely fire up your metabolism.
If you’re not sure when to squeeze in a walk, think about what you do every week. Do you wait for your kids at a music lesson or sport activity? Step out for 10 minutes and power out an invigorating walk. Can you park your car 5-10 minutes away from your work? That’ll make you walk 10-20 minutes everyday! An awesome and easy way to add in some exercise! Can you walk your kids to school everyday instead of driving? Take some time to examine your calendar. I challenge you to schedule in a 10 minute walk every day.
#4 DON’T USE MODERN CONVENIENCES
As I mentioned in point #2, every movement matters and adds up to your metabolic burn. Think of ways you can avoid using our modern conveniences. For instance, take the stairs instead of the elevator (you’ve heard that one a million times).
Here’s something I like to do. If I am popping into the grocery store to pick up a couple of things (let’s face it, a couple of things ALWAYS ends up being more) I never use a cart. I always use a basket. Those baskets can get mighty heavy when you add things like fruit, veggies, almond milk, eggs – hello burning biceps!!!
The other thing I do is close my own trunk. You know they have a button for this now on some vehicles??!! Use your muscles for crying out load!! Grab hold of that door and close it like you mean it. Your latissimus dorsi will thank you!
#5 JOIN A FITNESS CHALLENGE WITH A FRIEND
You gotta love a good fitness challenge, especially if you do it with a friend. Having a partner who will keep you accountable is probably one of the top ways to stay on track and be consistent.