For a lot of people, training 20 hours a week for an Ironman is completely unrealistic, and even running 40 miles per week to train for a marathon is a stretch. We look at different ways you can realistically fit exercise into your busy life.
1. Activate your commute
If you work full time, especially if you also have kids, it can feel impossible to find time to exercise. One easy way to add exercise into your day is by making your commute more active. If you get the train or bus, try getting off one or two stops early and walking the rest of the way. If you drive, you can try parking further away and walking the last mile or so.
This will only add around 15 minutes to your commute and the benefits will be immense. Sitting at a desk all day isn't good for your health, so by adding more exercise into your day you will offset the negative side effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
2. Get active at lunch time
Sometimes it can feel like you never have a moment to yourself and that you're busy all the time. Identifying times during the day when you can squeeze in some 'me time' and exercise is very valuable. One such time is lunch time.
You could go for a walk or even a run or a bike ride to maximise your free time and add in some important exercise to an otherwise sedentary day. Some people who work in large office blocks even change into their activewear to walk/run up and down the stairs at lunch time! This is a great way to get the heart pumping and the legs burning without even having to leave your building. Especially ideal if the weather doesn't allow for outdoor fitness.
3. Get up earlier
Another easy way to make time for exercise is by getting up slightly earlier so that you can workout before work. Even just an extra hour in the morning can facilitate a good workout and this will leave you feeling pumped, fresh, and ready to tackle whatever the day has in store for you.
Not only will a morning workout leave you feeling good for the rest of the day, it also means you can then get on with whatever you need to do without stressing about finding time to workout later on. You're also far less likely to skip a morning workout because you don't have all day to think about it and find excuses.
4. Skip the conveniences
Our modern world has been designed to make everything as easy as possible. We take the elevator instead of the stairs and we might take a cab for only a short journey. If this sounds like you, then adding exercise into your day can be easy by skipping the conveniences and taking the stairs or walking instead of taking public transport.
Especially if you live and/or work in a big city, everything is close enough that you can walk without needing to take a taxi or a bus. Yes, your journey might be a few minutes longer, but it'll be worth it in the end! Plus, busy cities tend to have lots of traffic anyway so sometimes walking is quicker than driving or taking the bus!
5. Find an active hobby
Many of us are guilty of complaining about how busy we are but then spending a lot of time in front of the TV or scrolling through endless news feeds on our phones. Swap these bad habits for active hobbies such as gardening or DIY. It doesn't have to be anything overly strenuous, but these sorts of activities can be hugely calming and reduce stress and anxiety.
This will also give your free time a lot more meaning and you'll feel much better. You may even find you sleep better with reduced exposure to screens and more time outdoors.