Contemporary life is full to the brim. We are expected to wear many hats and spin a multitude of plates, all at the same time. So when are you going to fit your daily workout in? Juggling work, children, study, cleaning, travel time, family, helping others, and more is time-consuming and can be energy- draining at times.
However, there is no excuse for leaving out the important things: Regular exercise and wholesome food are an absolute must if you want to balance life’s constant tasks, goals, and hurdles. In fact, with a healthy body inside and out, you will find far more enjoyment in the daily grind, instead of struggling to keep up.
Here are three simple tips to make fitting in exercise easier:
Make It a Habit
Life is all about creating and keeping habits. At first this is difficult, but with persistence and consistent effort, you can wave bad habits good-bye and welcome the new healthy ones with open arms.
If you are trying to make exercise a daily habit, start small and aim for 20 minutes each day. If you keep it manageable, you will be more inclined to stick with it.
Do What You Enjoy
Discover the exercises that you enjoy doing. This is important. If you hate an exercise, you won’t stick to it for very long. Try different things until you find the type of exercise you want to keep doing. Whether it’s a team sport or long walks in the park on weekends, you will find what works for you if you stick with it.
You don’t have to spend hours at the gym. Keep your workouts short and at a moderate to high intensity. It has been proven that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can burn just as many calories, if not more, than hour-long weight and cardio sessions.
Interval training involves doing short intervals of cardio-based exercise followed by short intervals of strength-based exercise. The training can include most forms of exercise, including weights, Pilates, plyometric, boxing, and so on, as long as each exercise is a different type than the previous one. HIIT challenges your body to work hard with little time for rest.
This week’s workout is all about making the most of a short session. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking a short workout isn’t worth your time. It all adds up.
I am a fan of doing short bursts of exercise whenever I can fit them in. Not only do they contribute to the overall improvement of my fitness level, but I also feel an increase in energy levels as soon as I have finished.
Any time is a good time for this short workout. Do it when you have a spare 10–15 minutes or when you feel sluggish in the morning or hit an afternoon slump. It is a far better option than drinking a coffee or having a sweet hit.
This workout is all about the flow and transition between the exercises, so read the instructions to find out how to move seamlessly from one move to the next.
15 knee repeaters on both legs
Roll down to transition
30 seconds of mountain climber
10 hover leg-lifts
Start with 15 squats, this is your warm-up. If you have just gotten out of bed or it’s a cold day, do more than 15. You can also jog or skip on the spot for at least two minutes or put your favorite song on and dance for a few minutes to add to the warmup.
2. Squat Jumps
When you’ve finished the basic squats, turn them into squat jumps. Ten to fifteen will be perfect to get your legs really feeling it.
3. Knee Repeater
At the end of the squat jumps, hold a deep squat. Extend one leg behind your body (without touching the ground) and perform a knee repeater by repeatedly bringing your knee forward toward your body and then extending behind.
Do 15 on each side. Stay low in the squat while you do the repeater. It is a great workout for the leg that isn’t moving because it has to support your body. This is an old aerobic move but works perfectly to increase heart health and leg strength.
When you have finished the knee repeaters, stand up straight and roll your body into a forward bend. To do this, roll your head down past your lower body like you are peeling your spine away from a wall.
This will stretch your back and your legs, giving you a small break. At the bottom of the roll down, walk your hands forward into a plank position on your hands and feet.
5. Mountain Climber
Holding the plank position, bring your knees toward your chest one at a time as fast as you can. Keep your back straight and lower abdominals engaged. Do this for 30 seconds.
At the end of the mountain climber, lower yourself onto your elbows and hold this hover position. Lift your feet up slowly one at a time while holding the hover. Do five lifts on each side.
Workout Phase 1 complete! Well done.
Now do the whole thing two more times and you’re finished. Once you know the workout well, it should take no longer than 15 minutes. If you have less time, then do it only once or twice. Something is always better than nothing!
Emma-Kate Stampton certifies Pilates instructors and is a certified personal trainer. With nine years of industry experience, she is passionate about sharing the gift of health and well-being. Emma-Kate is based in Brisbane, Australia.