Tricks to keep fit when you have next-to-no free time
As a busy working mum of two, I know how hard it can be to find time for exercise! I also know that even when (or if!) you do manage to find a moment to yourself, getting to the gym and back is often the last thing you feel like doing.
However, I have found several easy ways to increase the amount activity I do in a day which are easy, fun and time flexible.
Here are my top 3 tips to keep fit when you are short on time:
1. Increase incidental exercise
Incidental exercise is any activity that you add into your day, where you otherwise may not have. So, for example - taking the stairs instead of the elevator (which I ALWAYS do!), getting off the bus a couple of stops earlier, parking your car further away from your destination, walking around while you’re talking on the phone (that’s super easy to do), using a standing desk or sitting on a yoga ball at your desk. It can be really helpful to use a pedometer or fitness tracker so you can set yourself goals around how many steps you take each day - it’s recommended that you hit at least 10,000.
2. Set up a simple home gym
You really don’t need a whole lot of equipment or space in order to get moving at home. This is perfect for days when the weather stops you from getting outside for a walk or exercise, or for when you’re unable to get out of the house due to childcare. Resistance bands are really effective for mobility exercises and stretches, and a yoga mat is a must for stretching or core work. A medicine ball is great for adding weight to squats or core exercises, and a skipping rope will get your heart pumping. Get yourself some adjustable dumbbells or kettlebells and you’ve pretty much got a full body workout! Don’t forget a foam roller - it might feel uncomfortable but so worth it to roll out those tight muscles!
3. Get jumping
I’ve recently discovered just how much FUN you can have while exercising on the trampoline! They are SO not just for kids! They are actually awesome for strengthening muscles, improving coordination and even boosting bone density and cardiovascular health. A study by NASA even found that 10 minutes of trampolining was a better workout than 30 minutes of running - that’s all the convincing I need!
My Springfree Smart Trampoline actually comes complete with sensors in the mat - these sensors detect your jump location, how high you have jumped, and how many calories you are burning. That data gets sent via Bluetooth to your tablet that you can attach to the net. There are a whole bunch of incredible adult-oriented workouts created with at-home exercisers in mind - you even get the guidance of a professional trampoline coach. You can set goals, track your workouts, and even choose music to exercise to.
Even if you don’t have the sensor mat technology, there’s nothing stopping you from creating your own trampoline workouts and making them a regular part of your exercise routine. If the kids are reluctant to give you a turn, get them involved too!
So there you have it. Less room for excuses when you think about how simple it can be to get a little more movement and activity into your day. It all adds up, so never think that a little bit won’t make a difference. As you get fitter and stronger, you’ll likely also feel more motivated to make fitness a priority, and it will feel less like a chore and more like something that you really look forward to!
By Claire Turnbull