9 easy tips to find time for fitness

It's often difficult to find time to fit exercise into a busy schedule. But by breaking it up into three shorter bursts of activity, lasting 10 minutes each, you can easily achieve your daily quota. The trick? Build activity into your everyday life. These nine tips will help you get started.

9 easy tips to find time for fitness

Here are nine unique ways in which you can boost your daily level of activity when you simply don't have time for a traditional exercise regime.

1. Get up early

Get up half an hour earlier once a week.

  • Use the extra time to do some floor exercises (getting an exercise DVD can help), or go for a walk or swim.

Once you're happy with that, do it twice a week.

2. Use the stairs

Walk up and down stairs whenever you can. If you use an elevator at work, get out two floors below your usual level.

  • Walking up just two flights of stairs a day can add up to three kilograms (six pounds) of weight loss over a year.

3. Eat anywhere but your desk

During your lunch break at work, instead of eating at your desk or sitting in the staff cafeteria, have a quick snack and go for a walk outside.

  • The exercise will also reinvigorate your mind, as well as your body.

4. Take shorter bus rides

Get off the bus one stop earlier than usual and walk the rest of the way.

  • On sunny summer days, you'll find the fresh air rejuvenating, especially if you work in an office.

5. Park further

Park a little further away than you really need to each time you arrive at the office or go shopping. Then, walk the rest of the way.

  • From time to time, increase the distance and try to walk a little faster.

6. Get creative

Think about how to incorporate activity into your regular routine.

  • Could you bike to the store, for example? Or swap your usual trip to the movie theatre for a bowling or ice-skating session?

7. Look for hidden opportunities

Treat waiting times as opportunities for action.

  • Don't simply stare at your computer screen while waiting for a page to load; do a quick arm stretch or three.
  • Waiting for the kettle to boil? Try a few squats, holding the edge of the countertop or the back of a kitchen chair, if necessary.
  • Old hold trying to get an appointment? Do some deep breathing exercises to help rid yourself of tension.

8. Get up during commercials

While watching television, make sure you spend at least 10 minutes out of each hour doing something else as well, such as sit-ups or stretching exercises.

  • Getting up during the commercials to load the dishwasher, take out the trash or tidy the kitchen can add up to 15 minutes of activity every hour.

9. Multi-task during a movie

Do the ironing, fold clothes or shine your shoes while watching a movie. If this doesn't appeal, set up an exercise bike or treadmill in front of the television.

  • In 10 minutes, you'll burn 62 calories ironing or about 97 calories on the bike or treadmill – that's nearly 600 calories in an hour for the latter!
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