You don’t have to spend hours in the gym every day to shape up and get fit…
A few short bursts of activity each day will add up and can be just as effective, perfect for those time-short days. You often don’t even need to leave the house, so there’s no excuse, even if it’s raining!
Grab your hoe
Well, a rake or spade will do as well. Tackle a small part of the garden at a time, weeding, digging, raking up leaves. You can easily break garden chores down into small time-effective sessions. Not only will you burn calories, but you’ll be strengthening and toning at the same time.
Hop, skip, jump
A great exercise for all the family, skipping is a great body workout. Be as creative as you want with your moves – jump on one leg, cross your arms or skip backwards. You can burn around 115 calories in a speedy 10 mins.
Lunge and squat
The next time you’re stuck on a phone call, stand up and start moving. As long as your trousers are loose enough, give some squats or lunges a go. They’re great for toning and will help strengthen your core, too.
Dance like you just don’t care
Music is a great distraction from the effort involved in exercising. Pick a few of your favourite fast-paced tracks, close the curtains, and dance away. You may feel like a prize plonker at first, but once you feel your heart rate rising, you’ll soon forget about that and start thinking of the fitness rewards.
Start by writing your weekly shopping list in sections – fruit and veg, chilled, store cupboard, frozen, etc. List in hand, you’re ready to get around the supermarket as fast as you can. If you’re only doing a top-up shop, use a basket to give your arms a workout. Pack everything into big Bags For Life, and try doing a few arm curls on the way home.
Step up to the plate.
You might have only just got home for work and feel famished, but before you sit down to dinner, take to the stairs. Simple stepping up and down one step will work all your leg muscles, or if you’re feeling active, jog up and down the whole flight 10 times – just make sure you’ve checked they’re free of toys first!
Drop and give me 10
Starting on all fours with arms and feet shoulder width apart, bend your elbows, lowering your chest to the floor, once your chin is a few inches off the ground, push back up. Keep your back straight and repeat. Try and do 10 push-ups at a time, and perform at least four sets, resting for a minute between each. These will strengthen your abs shoulders, arms, glutes and chest.
Take to the road
A few short bike trips every week will soon start building up a calorie deficit. The next time you need to pop to the local shop or deliver a birthday card, jump on your bike and get pedalling.
It’s not just dogs who need exercising regularly. Grab a ball and take your mutt for walkies. Throw a ball, then try to jog at least 20 paces in the opposite direction before man’s best friend returns it to you. Keep repeating and you’ll soon have worked up a sweat and tired the pooch out in the process.
Public transport can be cramped sometimes, so do your fellow passengers a favour and make some extra space by getting off the bus a few stops early. Take a brisk walk home, and the extra legwork will soon add up.