No time to work out? No excuse! Sure, you might be too busy to spend an hour (or even 30 minutes) at the gym, but there are easy ways to be a little more active each and every day, even if you’re stuck in the office.
FitOrbit.com trainer Amanda Ebner shares 5 “sneaky ways” to fit exercise into your super busy day.
Use the rule of three
If you don’t have time for a steady 30-minute cardio session, break your workout into three 10-minute segments instead.
“Set your alarm 10 minutes earlier and kick out the first one before work, spend 10 minutes of your lunch hour sweating out the second segment and cool down your day with a final 10 minutes when you get home,” Ebner says. “The key with shorter workouts is to keep the intensity high (think running, circuit training, or plyometrics) and stay focused on your effort — this is not the time to read a magazine or take a leisurely stroll.”
Don’t fight the fidgets
Stuck in meetings and dying to get up and get moving? Tap your toes, play with your pencil, and swivel your chair. Sound crazy? “It might, but fidgeters (those who engage in spontaneous and constant minor activity) can burn around 108 extra calories daily just from refusing to sit still. If you’re not a natural busybody, try bouncing your knees up and down from your chair, shifting your weight from side to side while standing in line or tapping your fingers on your desk while you brainstorm. Those daily calories can add up to nearly one pound burned per month,” Ebner says.
Treat it like a meeting
We all live and die by our calendars these days, so why not make an appointment you absolutely can’t miss—with the gym.
“Trying to squeeze in a workout on an already-packed day can seem like a chore, but planning your workout ahead of time (for example, penciling in that Tuesday yoga class with your favorite instructor or blocking out 45 minutes to try that new P90X video) can actually relieve stress by making your workout seem like just another part of your busy day,” Ebner says.
Get on the ball
Swapping out your regular chair for a stability ball is a very sneaky way to strengthen your core and lower back muscles, improve your posture and even burn a few extra calories during your workday.
Got more time (and an office with a door)? “Add stability ball crunches, push-ups, and roll-ins to your repertoire and complete 10 of each exercise every hour on the hour. You’ll be feeling the burn by lunchtime!”
Find an app for that
Training apps for the iPhone or Android have become seriously sophisticated over the past few years, and many of the best apps are under less than $5 or even free (think Nike Training Club, MyTrainer or MapMyFitness).
“You can have a full workout at the touch of a button without spending a ton of time trying to think up programs or download training plans. Need more personalization? Check out FitOrbit.com, an online personal training site that connects you with real-life personal trainers and nutrition plans for less than $2 a day,” Ebner suggests.