I’ve been making real efforts in recent weeks to have a better approach to exercise. I have been making efforts to walk more (which is helped of course by the better weather) and I have started doing the 30 Day Shred DVD.
Whilst I was doing the DVD earlier today it struck me how much things have changed now as opposed to three years ago when I was working full time. At work I had a desk based job and was much more sedentary than I am now. I had access to a gym but I would try to make sure that I always headed out for a walk at lunchtime – one of the best ways to keep fit and see some of the sites in the city and build in some much-needed activity into the day.
Prior to moving to our current house I attended a gym regularly, and was lucky that my employer at the time contributed towards gym membership costs too. I ran regularly and enjoyed spending my ‘free’ time doing fitness classes. All great things to do to keep me active after a day in front of a computer.
Fast forward three years and free time in the gym isn’t really possible! Aside from the financial side of things by the time my ‘working’ day has ended its usually around 8pm and the last thing I feel like after running around all day is to hit the gym! It’s also not practical to head out for a run – Daniel and Emma can’t really keep up with me and it’s frowned upon to leave young children alone 🙂
It got me thinking to what ways I try to stay active now, when things can often be unpredictable. So… my top three tips for finding time to stay active and exercise
- Walk, Walk, Walk – this applies whether you are in paid employment or a stay at home parent. Walking is free and it’s proven to be a way to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses. This is perfect when with children as well and with a little thought it’s really easy to extend the amount you walk. Today for example we are going to feed the ducks at a local lake. I know Daniel will walk round the lake once, after that he will get tired. I plan to take Emma in the pushchair and take the Tula for Daniel. I will then walk round the lake another four times (at least) which will see me cover at least six miles.
- Find time to dance – toddlers love dancing so put on some music and dance away – great for getting the heart rate up and it’s good fun too. It also has the added benefit of helping energetic toddlers burn off energy as well as seeing mummy and daddy being a bit silly!
- Find an exercise DVD that you can do in short bursts. 30 Day Shred works for me as the workout is only 20 minutes of high intensity. I can easily find 20 minutes in the day. I try to do it when Emma is napping and I can set Daniel up with an activity or he can join in with me if he wants. A few days this week Daniel has watched a short youtube video and Emma has joined in with me. Beware though of random cuddles when you’re trying to do sit ups and crunches – I don’t see Anita and Natalie struggling with that!
When I was working in an office I found the best thing for me was getting out into the fresh air at lunchtime and going for a walk. Apps like map my fitness are great as you can measure how far you are walking and how many calories you are burning. I use Map my Fitness almost every day to log the workouts I am doing, it’s a great motivator at the end of the week to see how many things you have done.
When I was working I worked in an office that was across a few floors. If I was feeling a bit sluggish I’d walk to a different kitchen for a drink (rather than the one that was closest) and always try to take the stairs instead of the lift. I also never shied away from helping lift and shift the boxes of documents and materials that we tended to have to sort out – all little things that helped to build much needed activity into the day
With a little thought and effort there are lots of ways to sneak exercise and activity into your daily routine. How do you stay active in your job? Simply Health have some tips for employers on promoting fitness at work – does your employer do any of these?
This is a collaborative post.