Would you like to work out, but lack time to go to the gym? Most people these days are very busy, so they don’t get time to go to the gym. Well, there’s good news. There’s no need to join a gym or do long, complicated workouts that take up your free time to stay healthy. There are ways to shape up without doing a structured exercise program, buying fancy workout clothes, or investing in expensive gym equipment. Why not introduce micro workouts to achieve your fitness goals?
What the heck are mini-workouts?
They are short exercise sessions you carry out several times per day but are short enough that they don’t interfere with your normal routine. You can burn several hundred calories daily with micro-workouts, and feel better physically and mentally too. These fitness exercises can be any movement that increases your heartbeat and gets your blood flowing.
Here are a few ideas:
Track Your Movements
Get a fitness tracker, or a pedometer if you want to spend less, and wear it all day, counting your steps. Experts say you should aim for 10,000 steps per day to help you achieve fitness. Test yourself regularly to see if you meet this goal. Once you’re taking 10,000 steps per day, aim for adding another 1,000 steps each week until you reach 15,000.
Studies link taking more steps daily with longevity. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Some of the most active cultures in the world, those that walk the most, have longer lifespans.
Multi-Task When You Watch Television
Buy a small exercise bike from a sporting goods store and pedal while you watch your favorite television shows. Make it a rule that you will watch the TV only if you pedal. This is a win-win situation, because you’re turning sitting time into exercise time and doing something you enjoy while you do it. If you’re not interested in TV you could read a book, listen to an audio book or watch something on a tablet. There are plenty of ways to while away the time while getting some exercise in. If cycling isn’t your thing try a small rowing machine or cheap treadmill.
Walk During Your Lunch Hour
Grab something quick and healthy to eat, instead of eating lunch at home or at the office. Walk as you eat your healthy snack during your lunch hour. You’ll relieve work-day stress and burn calories at the same time. The fresh air and movement will be good for you physically, and mentally too. Plus most people tend to eat less and feel less hungry when walking.
Take the Stairs
The stairs are your best friend for getting in shape. The stairs burn a significant number of calories, and when you do this several times a day, the calories burned really add up. Stair climbing also helps firm your glutes and hamstrings, the muscles in the back of your thighs. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes! Take the stairs whenever you can – every time you have a spare minute take a run up and down the stairs and burn some extra calories.
Pick Up the Pace
Ramp up your pace at home and at the office. Don’t walk leisurely between areas when you’re going from room to room. See how fast you can go. You can even run a few extra steps! Think about how many extra calories you’re burning when you boost the intensity of your daily activities. You can actually add quite a few extra steps into your daily lifestyle just walking around the house. Do some housework at the same time and you won’t even know you’re exercising! Tasks like ironing, vacuuming, cleaning, changing bedding etc. all need to be done anyway, and who wouldn’t want to get it done a bit faster? You could set a 20-25 minute timer to see how much you can get done in a short space of time.
Adopt a Dog
Dogs make great fitness motivators, and you can keep on track in achieving your fitness goals by taking short walks throughout the day with your dog. Studies show people who adopt dogs are more active than those who are dog-free. Most people will walk their dog even if they don’t feel like walking themselves! A dog also offers great companionship and can help relieve stress too.
Ditch the Dress Shoes
It’s better to wear fitness shoes than dress shoes. That’s because you’ll move faster and burn more calories when you aren’t wearing uncomfortable dress shoes. If you think regular exercise shoes look too casual, check out the new black leather fitness shoes with a dressier look. They’re suitable for work but comfy enough to walk in.
Take Walking and Stretching Breaks
Set an alarm every 30 minutes to an hour to remind yourself to get up, walk around, and stretch. So many of us that work at a computer can spend hours sitting at a time so this is really important. Hopefully, you have a place to walk, but if not take a long stretch. If you’re short on space you could do some jumping jacks or burpees as these really get the heart rate up, the blood circulating, and burns calories. Sitting too long without flexing your calves increases the risk of blood clots and is just generally bad for your health. In fact, people sitting for more than 8 hours a day (which isn’t uncommon in this day and age) with no physical activity in between have a similar risk of dying as those with obesity or those who smoke.
Leave the Car at Home
When you would normally drive somewhere, head to the nearby post office that’s within walking distance and mail the letter there instead, or park a short distance away from your destination if you can’t walk all the way. The Japanese are some of the thinnest people in the world because they walk practically everywhere. When they can’t walk, they bike. People in Western countries can benefit by doing this too.
Get fit without joining a gym with these mini workouts. You do not need pricey equipment and expensive memberships to achieve your fitness goals. Just learn how to use the extra time you have to get mini-workouts and reap the many health benefits. Long, intense workouts aren’t for everyone, particularly if you’re new to exercise. By incorporating some of the tips above into your lifestyle it doesn’t have to feel like a workout at all!
“5 “Blue Zones” Where the World’s Healthiest People Live.” 06 Apr. 2017, nationalgeographic.com/books/article/5-blue-zones-where-the-worlds-healthiest-people-live
“Dog Owners Get More Exercise – The New York Times.” 29 May. 2019, nytimes.com/2019/05/29/well/move/dog-owners-get-more-exercise.html
“Dog Owners Are More Active | Runner’s World.” 12 Aug. 2013, runnersworld.com/runners-stories/a20788840/dog-owners-are-more-active/
“Benefits of Taking the Stairs | Human Resources.” hr.duke.edu/wellness/exercise-fitness/take-stairs/benefits-taking-stairs