Do you ever feel like you could do with an extra hour in the day just to fit everything in? Finding time for ordinary tasks such as washing your hair can feel like a luxury for which you have to set aside time. People are living increasingly busy lives, any free time is considered sacred. With time so precious, putting a large chunk of it aside for exercise is an indulgence many feel they cannot afford.
The average Brit spends 43 hours in full-time work each week, without taking into account all the other duties required of them. Many industries are rethinking the way they provide their services due to the increased demands on time. An open-all-hours culture is already rife in the beauty industry, a trend set in cities that don’t sleep such as New York. On demand services are also popular, where people can get express treatments without having to book a long way in advance, every moment of spare time needs to be taken advantage of.
To exercise professionals, the benefits of making time for workouts is obvious, not least for the extra energy it can give for the day ahead. It is easy for exercise to be lingering at the bottom of the list of priorities in a hectic schedule; fitting in gym classes or personal training sessions is just not a realistic possibility for some. Short of becoming nocturnal, it is hard to fit it all in. Kim Kardashian might be a fan of 3am workouts, but realistically this is not feasible for making long-term changes. Incorporating exercise into the lives of busy people may seem like a daunting prospect, but it is imperative that exercise is an important focus. Showing how this can be achieved through changes to the daily routine, without sacrificing too much precious time. Being busy should not be an excuse for not staying fit!
Make it part of the commute
Commuting is a fact of life for most people, an ordeal to be endured every day. An office-based job encourages a sedentary lifestyle, so having an active commute can help counteract that. Brainwaves such as Home Run, a series of guided runs home from Central London, help achieve that. Following popular commuter routes such as Waterloo to Clapham Junction, covering distances between 2 and 6 miles, Home Run takes the tedium out of one of life’s necessities. They even carry your bag!
If running is not for you, or your commute still requires more traditional means, there are still plenty of ways to make it more active. Fitting in as much walking as possible is a step in the right direction; walking to the station, taking the steps rather than the escalator and getting off a stop early will get the daily miles clocking up. Apps such as Moves calculate all movement throughout the day, a great way to quantify how much you are actually doing, and a great incentive to keep on improving that figure.
Being aware of any moments in the day that could be used for activity will allow for these times to be used most productively. Finding the perfect time to go for a run, but lacking the kit to do so is useless, forward planning will make the most of these opportunities. Keeping a gym kit in the car or office will allow for spontaneous activity, or make a priority of following through with a pre-planned activity without wasting time going home first.
No time to go to the gym, but still got twenty minutes to fit in some activity? Making the most of what is available to hand can provide a makeshift gym. Stairs can be run up, chairs used for triceps dips, press ups and sit ups can just require a flat surface. Gym equipment for the home is readily available, and comes in a variety of price ranges and sizes to suit every need. There are also a great selection of fitness DVDs and interactive games that are perfect for instructor-led exercise, but without the time constraints of committing to gym classes.
Multi-tasking is an absolutely necessary skill to keep up with the frenetic pace of life, and is second nature to this overworked generation. This can extend into exercise, menial tasks such as cooking or cleaning can be turned into workouts with movement to increase the heart rate. Throw in some squats, a plank or some star jumps will make waiting around far more productive. A sacred night in front of the TV needn’t be sacrificed either, but introducing an exercise bike into the mix will ensure a good workout at the same time. Watching sport while doing this is one of the best incentives to carry on going; getting engrossed in the action will make it easy to forget you are even exercising.
Making these small changes a habit is a much more sustainable way of ensuring people are routinely active. The way people are living their lives and spending their time is changing, and this applies to the ways in which they exercise. Understanding that some traditional methods may not be as relevant it important, exercise professionals should be at the forefront of realising this and helping to ensure fitness remains a top priority.
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