How to integrate exercise into your everyday life

From standing at your desk to replacing your commute with a walk – here are some of the things you can do to bring exercise into your everyday.

We all know the importance of exercise, but unfortunately life has a habit of getting in the way. Between balancing work and family life, finding an hour or so for a workout can seem impossible. However, with a little rebalancing you can integrate an exercise routine into your daily pattern to keep yourself fit without falling behind on your busy schedules. Here are a few ideas for everyday exercise.

Walk as much as possible for everyday exercise

Walking is one of the most beneficial forms of exercise. It burns fat, raises your metabolism and gets the blood circulating around your body without overexerting you. The more opportunities you can find to take a walk during the day, the more you’ll benefit.

If possible, you can find time in the early morning for a walk. This will burn a few calories and leave you feeling more energised and alert for the rest of the day. During the day you could try to get out of the office and go for a walk. For example, walking to a nearby park for your lunch rather than eating at your desk will naturally keep you a little more active and will probably help you to be more productive for the rest of the day.

Get on your bike

Another great calorie burner can be cycling. Estimates suggest a man can burn as many as 1,000 calories during an hour’s cycling. Rather than driving to the local shop, for example, you could choose to take a bike ride. For short journeys it won’t take too much more time and will add to the number of calories you burn during the day.

Estimates suggest a man can burn as many as 1,000 calories during an hour’s cycling.

Choose interval training

If time is an issue, you could try to maximise your bang for your buck from your exercise by upping the intensity. Interval training that sees bursts of high intensity exercise followed by periods of lower intensity training can burn through the calories. One study showed that two and a half minutes of giving it everything on an exercise bike could burn more than 200 calories.

Interval training, which saw participants go flat out for 30 minutes followed by a four-minute period of light resistance free cycling, takes around 25 minutes and can really burn through the calories.

Exercise during breaks

Your daily routine will likely include various breaks which could be filled with a spot of exercise. For example, if you wind down in the evenings in front of the TV, why not try exercising through the commercial breaks. A couple of minutes’ burst of exercise will all add to the quantity of calories burned throughout the day.

Take the stairs

If you work on the top floor of a building, take the stairs instead of the elevator. It will only take a couple of minutes, but the calories you burn climbing those stairs two or three times a day will all add up over the course of a year.

For example, if you’re regularly climbing several flights of stairs each day, you might find you’ve effectively scaled Everest by the end of the year!

Wear a fitness tracker

The market for fitness trackers has grown dramatically in recent years. Small devices worn on your wrist can provide all sorts of information about your exercise as well as monitoring things such as your heart rate.

Having these devices can be a great way to set targets and motivate you to complete the recommended number of steps each day. Having daily reminders on your wrist is a bit like having a pockets sized motivator pushing you to do more.

Small devices worn on your wrist can provide all sorts of information about your exercise as well as monitoring things such as your heart rate.

Tidy the house

While many of us wait until the weekend before we do a big tidy of the house, we might benefit by taking 15 to 30 minutes out of the day to do a bit of housework. Simply by tidying up, you keep yourself moving and increase the number of calories burned each day. Likewise, if you have a garden, you could take time to get out there and do a bit of maintenance. It may only take a few minutes, but it can get you out in the fresh air and boost your productivity.

Everyday exercise at your desk

If you work from home, you could configure your home office in such a way which encourages regular exercise. Standing at your desk will improve your posture as well as increasing the number of calories you naturally burn.

You could also break up your work routine with ten-minute bursts of exercise every hour or so. It’s a great way to take a screen break and will add up to a considerable amount over the course of the day.

Time is always against us, but if we take a step back and rejig our routines to prioritise everyday exercise even the busiest of us can find ways to become more active. Even a few minutes’ additional exercise every day will make a difference at the end of the year.   

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