7 ways to sneak more exercise into your day

With the world growing smaller by the day and phone calls to Hong Kong at 3 am becoming a routine, the one thing that affects all of us is the utter lack of time. We all wish we had that extra 25th hour. With traffic being nothing less than a nightmare these days, one does not have the time to sit down, relax, get enough sleep or read a page of that book one has been trying to read for the past two months, let alone exercise!

As a child, sports never interested me. Lack of interest is an understatement,for I dreaded the PE class. I did not make any team and for the most part of my childhood, spent my days cooped up at home(much to the disappointment of my parents who had shopped a whole day to find the right bicycle for me). As I grew older, running, adventure sports and biking caught my attention. But life got in the way and I had no time to do any of this on a daily basis.

I have,however, learned a few tricks to get a minimal amount of exercise on a daily basis. Planning your day in advance, being well prepared and making fitness a priority can go a long way.

  1. We all have 15 minutes a day: Sometimes, even a 15 minute workout can help you stay in shape. Choose a time that works for you (you have to figure out what time works best for you), when you can workout without any interruptions and when your energy levels are fairly high. It can even be in the middle of the day. Hit the gym after or before lunch for just 15 minutes and utilize the entire 15 minutes on a treadmill or a high intensity elliptical bike. Or simply put on your running shoes and run a tad faster than your normal pace around the block. Run up the stairs once you are done with the workout and get back to work. You will be surprised how refreshing it feels.
  2. Plan for the day: On many days, when I am uncertain about meetings at work or the tasks that I would have to compete for the day, I plan for a workout anyway. I always keep a pair of running shoes in my office/college so that I can quickly change into them when I have to.  You simple need to remember to buy a couple of protein bars when you are at the store the next time so that you have them handy in your bag for after a run.
  3. Be creative with time-management: One thing that I have learned over the years is that we all waste a lot of time which can be used creatively. Spending 20 minutes on Facebook while in bed can be done while on a gym bicycle too! You can do push-ups while you wait for the veggies in the pot to cook or do side twists in the car and calf rises at your desk.
  4. Keep track of your physical activity: You don’t always need a FitBit to keep track of the number of steps you walk. A little self-awareness will do the job. For instance, you can take a longer route to your desk on your way to the cafeteria. You can choose to walk with your colleague while you discuss the day’s work. Or you can just make up your mind to never ever use the elevator in your life to go up two flights of stairs!
  5. Bike/walk/run to work: Sure, you would come into the office sweating the first week but trust me, you can get used to it. One can try to bike/run/walk to work atleast on a few fixed days a week, if not everyday.
  6. Rest one day in a week: Resting on a weekday can help you get more work done on that day which leaves some extra time the next day to exercise. If you can squeeze in some extra workout on a weekend, you can rest on Monday and work more or get other chores done, saving you some time on Tuesday. Besides, rest is good for the body!
  7. Always be prepared: Some people exercise listening to music, others listen to audio books. Know what works for you because a lot of us quit exercising when it gets boring. You can even listen to the minutes of a meeting or catch up with the friend you have been meaning to call.

Try the above and say hello to a brand new day filled with infinite possibilities!

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