We all know what it is like not to have time to exercise. Between work, meal planning, running errands, paying bills, reading to my one year old, folding laundry, cleaning, and brunch with the girls, finding time to work out can be a stretch on a good day! However, I also realize that without exercise, I become worthless. My sleep is sub-par, my diet suffers, my energy lags, I succumb to stress headaches, and the worst of all - my jeans stop fitting.
So in order to maximize my time and still insure I fit in at least the recommended 30 minutes of cardio a day, I’ve created a “cheat sheet” for myself - ways I can sneak in a little extra exercise into every part of my day without having to create large sections of time to go to the gym. Not all of them happen every day, and that is ok. The main idea is to help your body realize how much better you feel after giving it a little extra love and attention. Once you start, you may not be able to remember how you functioned without it.
1) Counter pushups while waiting for oven or microwave timer.
How many times do we stand in front of the microwave waiting for our food to heat up? See how many pushups or lunges you can fit in during the minute it takes to heat your lunch - you might be surprised!
2) Calf raises/lunges/squats while brushing teeth.
I have found that the time I spend staring at myself in the mirror, analyzing every minute detail of my body that I dislike does nothing but discourage me. Instead, I focus my attention on perfecting my squat form. It tones my lower half and puts me in a better mood!
3) Walking on lunch break - or while on the phone.
Walking while on the phone provides great privacy! And is an excellent use of multitasking. Leave your lunch in the car and speed walk out to grab it during your break. Every extra step will add up! Consider getting a pedometer and practice finding ways to increase your steps per day.
4) Turn up the tunes and dance around your house while you clean by hand (think, scrubbing the floor or shower, vacuuming, folding laundry, washing windows.)
Who doesn’t love a good dance party? And my house, for one, could always use a good cleaning. Get your heart rate up while rocking out to your favorite tunes. You’ll never see cleaning as a boring chore again!
5) Take a few laps around the mall before you stop in any stores.
This is my favorite way to get in a few more steps - and keeps my wallet happy as well! I get a chance to scope out all the stores, decide what I really need, and then buy it without regret. And it helps me resist the food court when I have time to think purchases over.
6) Stand or use an exercise ball at your desk for part of the day rather than sitting in a chair.
Your core is the foundation of your body. Tone it up and create stability in your core while chipping away at your never ending to-do list or sending emails.
7) Do a few reps with the grocery bags you are carrying inside.
Grocery bags are the perfect weight for toning your biceps without creating too much bulk. Take a reusable bag or two with you to the store and ask them to fill it up! Less trips to carry groceries in = more weight for you to lift. Just be careful not to use your back.
8) Schedule workouts - make them like an appointment you can’t miss.
Don’t think of workouts as an extra luxury to fit in when you can. Schedule them each day and then hold yourself to it as if it were a meeting with your boss. Make it a priority, and keep it.
9) Do them at the same time every day.
I am far less likely to skip a workout if I know that it is going to happen at the same time every day. There is no guessing as to if I will fit it in, no pushing myself to squeeze a workout in before bed, and no surprises. Take a few minutes to look over your schedule, and plan your workouts in advance.
10) Find something you LOVE.
Hate jogging? Love yoga? Energized by cycling? Choose a fitness program or class that you can really look forward to. The more you anticipate it, the less likely you are to cancel after a long day.
You’ll be surprised at how quickly a few minutes here and there will add up and the difference it will make!
Britney is an independent Beachbody Coach and a real foods meal planner. To check out her current fitness accountability programs or sign up for a personalized meal plan, follow her page on facebook at www.facebook.com/britneylynneammen.