The Tricky Task of Keeping Fit
Put the phone down, you sloth! It’s time to get some exercise, and unfortunately for you, scrolling your finger on a screen over and over doesn’t count. I know, I know, keeping yourself fit in this busy modern world of ours is tough. When the work piles high, the kids are screaming bloody murder and you get a rare opportunity to head out with your friends, making time to better your own personal health goes out the window! Sure, exercising might not always be fun, but research shows it’s also extremely good for your body and your mind. The American Heart Association recommends about 150 minutes of moderate activity per week to keep you in tip top shape. Before you moan and groan about that being too much work, just remember you don’t have to do it all in one go! In fact, here’s a few ways you can fit in a bit of enjoyable exercise each day to keep yourself from going all jiggly!
Get Up With the Sun
This naturally will prove more difficult in the summer months when the crack of dawn is practically in the middle of the night, but sometimes the only way to make space for some exercise in your busy schedule is to do it ahead of schedule. That’s right, getting up earlier than normal in the morning can give you the time you need to sweat out last night’s Chinese takeaway and get your heart pumping like it’s never pumped before. Even a snappy 10 minute workout can make all the difference in the long run. If you’re a parent, it also gives you time to wake before your hyperactive kids and have some peace and quiet before the days begins!
Swap the Commute for a Workout
This won’t always be possible, but it’s a good habit to have! The rat-race often has us stuck inside stuffy, sweaty cars all day. If you commute to work by car or any other vehicle 5 days a week, try swapping one of those journeys for something that will get more fresh air in your lungs. This includes walking, cycling or even riding a horse to work. Sure, you’ll have to adjust your travelling time and brave the elements (especially in the winter months), but think about how much better you’ll feel knowing that you’re keeping yourself healthy and cutting down on your carbon footprint at the same time. Put that one in your Twitter bio!
Home Workouts Can Work Out
If your local gym or leisure centre was closed because of the lockdowns, then you’ll probably have availed of home workouts. These may have infuriated you to the point of insanity, or maybe they showed you that you can look like your favourite cast member of Baywatch by simply working out in your living room. At any rate, if you don’t have the time or money for a gym membership right now (or maybe you just don’t like the whole idea of being in a room with sweaty strangers), then working out from home could be what you need. You don’t need anything fancy; slap down a yoga mat on your living room floor and get cranking out the pushups, sit-ups and planks! They’re guaranteed to have your muscles feel like they’re on fire and make you curse the day you thought this exercise stuff was a good idea – but afterwards, you’ll feel pretty good. Probably.
The Kid’s Exercise Can Be Your Exercise Too
If you’re a parent with a busy job or a lot of kids (or worse, both) then making time for yourself is practically impossible. If you’re looking to get your kids out of the house before they make you blow a fuse, why not get out for some daily exercise with your offspring and kill two birds with one stone before you feel tempted to kill one of them? Encourage your little ones to get out and enjoy the outdoors by offering to go with them, even if it’s just for a walk around your neighbourhood. If you’re not into the group exercise and would rather just have time away from them, simply kick them out for 15-20 minutes each day and have yourself your own private little home workout. Let’s face it, it’s probably more enjoyable for everyone this way.
Join a Club or Evening Class
If you’re a little shy or totally lacking in motivation to do an activity by yourself, then there’s no better solution than joining a group or class to keep you moving. Many evening classes are designed for the busy parent and working adult to meet up, gossip about their families and co-workers and get some much needed exercise. Check any local leisure or community centres and see what’s on in the evenings when you may have some free time. This is ideal for those of us who can’t hold ourselves accountable and would probably end up in the pub instead of the gym if left to our own devices. So… most of us.
Know Your Limits
Coming from a different angle here, but maybe the problem isn’t that you’re doing too little exercise, but you’re doing too much – shocking, I know! If you have a busy work and family life, it isn’t a good idea to be running yourself ragged. A little bit of exercise every day can work wonders, but you don’t have to be Michael Phelps! If your current exercise regime is leaving you burnt out, then it’s okay to cut down. Don’t let any wannabe olympian in your life push you too hard or tell you you’re not doing enough. You see, your body is clever – when it wants to tell you something, it’ll make it very clear. If one day you awake and find your arms are battered and bruised and your legs feel like whipped jelly, this means it’s time to cut back on the exercise, ya maniac.
Learned anything new? Feel a bit more inspired? No? Well, tough. You’ve gotta get up and get moving, pal. Yes it’s difficult to get into exercise for the first time, what with all the pain and effort it requires. However, it’s proven that exercise releases chemicals in the brain that make you feel great and also helps you live longer. So I guess that’s a fair tradeoff.
Now quit taking selfies and get yourself to the gym instead!
If you enjoyed this article, please do check out my other LIFESTYLE articles.
Thank you for reading!