Question: Keep Fit

Hi there I want to be able to keep fit without having to go to the gym. There's just not time. What little things can I do to keep fit, maybe while working or cooking etc.

Answer

Exercise should always be your top priority above, well, everything really. Our health is so precious, and often we do little to maintain it until we see signs of something going wrong. If you can’t commit to waking up an hour earlier for gym, or cutting out TV time, there are little ways to practice incidental exercise throughout the day.

• Swap the sit-down lunch for a walk and talk. A lunch-time break doesn´t have to be sedentary, so grab a smoothie and meet a friend at a park for your weekly catch-up.

• Move while you wait. If you added up all the time you spend waiting in a day, you’d be surprised – so use that time to move. Do side kicks while you wait for the kettle to boil or squeeze your abs while your emails download.

• Train in front of the TV. If you can’t do without your hour of soaps, simply practise your gym routine in front of it. Squats, lunges, tricep dips, push ups and crunches can all be done easily in front of the TV, and don’t have to be done all in one sitting either. Opt for a minimum of 10 minutes each time to accrue a 30 minute workout. At the end of the day, 30 minutes of intense exercise is really all you need.

• And the clock strikes 10! If you work from home or a secluded office, when the clock strikes the hour, use it as your cue to move! Get up from your desk and do 10 push-ups, 10 dips, and a minute of ab crunches – if you do this five times a day, it will add up to about 10 minutes of exercise.

• Take the stairs. In 10 minutes of climbing the stairs, a 60 kg woman will burn almost 336 kJ (more than the approximate equivalent to a slice of bread).

• Put your multitasking talent to work. While chatting on the phone, walk around, climb stairs, do squats, lunges, side kicks or calf raises.

• Step it up. Get a pedometer and track how many steps you take each day. You should aim for 10 000. Find ways to increase your daily steps, for instance by parking further away and walking.

• Who needs a chair? Invest in an exercise ball and enjoy the many benefits of actively engaging your core rather than slouching at your desk. This is one of my FAVOURITE tips, as it means you can substitute HOURS of being sedentary for activity while you work.

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