If only there were more hours in the day! We’re all super keen to squeeze as much as we can from life, but the days can sometimes slip away from us... and before you know it, the sun’s down and your To Do list is still hanging over you. Like a dark, stormy cloud of guilt. And when we see ‘exercise’ at the top of our list without being ticked off, it can really tick us off!
We get that life can be super busy, but it’s all about smartly fitting more into your day, and trying sneaky ways to fit in exercise throughout the day. Here at MoveGB, we have tried out various efficient ways to get more hours into our days and fit exercise into our daily lives. It’s a challenge, but we’ve got some tried and tested tips for you!
Unfortunately, none include getting hold of Bernard’s Watch and stopping time (shout out to the 90’s kids who loved that TV programme!). From avoiding distractions to be as efficient as possible to knowing when to pause and regroup, we’ve got some top ways for you to make more time in your day to fit in exercise!
10 sneaky ways to fit in exercise throughout the day
If you’re an early bird, then you’ll relish a morning workout! But if you’re a bit of a night owl, then you may need to take note of the following points to make it to your class:
- Assemble your workout gear the night before so you can get out the house as quickly as possible.
- Put your alarm clock on the other side of the room, so you have to drag yourself out of bed.
- Or use a wake-up light to stop you from hitting snooze.
- The gym will be less crowded, so you can get through your routine without waiting for a machine to free up.
- The endorphins will give your day a brilliant start!
- It will kick-start your metabolism for the day.
- Be sure to hit a fitness activity which is between your home and work to save time - find your most convenient morning workout here.
- Your evenings will be completely at your disposal - you’ve done your workout already!
Track your tasks
During your working day, tasks may seem simple but can quickly eat up a few hours! Managing your time is an art form which is refined over time, but a top way to stay on top of things is to track the amount of time you spend on each duty. You’ll soon find out how much time tasks actually take, so you can organise your workload without having to stay in the office until the cleaners show.
Try out some of these awesome time tracking apps and smash through your working day in order to fit in your workout!
Whether you’re getting things done at home or at work, it’s so easy to be distracted or procrastinate… and we all know the scenario of having ‘just one more scroll through Facebook” instead of getting your ass straight down to the gym.
The poet Edward Young once said, “Procrastination is the thief of time” - trust him, he knew what he was talking about. Face your tasks head-on, no matter how much they may suck, and avoid the pull of social media with these nifty apps:
- Cold Turkey: the most complete distraction blocker for desktops
- StayFocused: Google Chrome App to limit the amount of time that you spend on time-wasting websites
- Procrastinator: Google Chrome App to block out unnecessary distractions.
Plan your workouts in advance
Make the most of your time in the gym by planning your workouts in advance! Browse Pinterest and save any cool fitness vids on Facebook for inspiration, then design your new workout routine. Whether it’s home workouts, gym fitness or getting outdoors, having a plan makes it easier to commit and turn your workout into a solid feature of the day.
And if you’re at a loss of how to move your body effectively, commit to a workout by booking yourself into a group exercise class - follow the leader and focus on working up a good sweat!
Adopt the ‘two-minute rule’
Follow entrepreneur, Steve Olenski, in utilising your time by adopting the ‘two-minute rule’. If there’s a task or action that pops up and can be completed within two-minutes, do it immediately to avoid procrastination. Apply this to tasks at both home and work - ticking off tasks will be motivating and also helps to overcome laziness and procrastination.
It can also be applied to fitness: if you want to run three times a week, schedule it into your week, get your gear on and get out the door within two-minutes. Once you’re out on the road, you’re less likely to turn back and sack it in.
Take regular breaks from your desk
Don’t be a desk potato! We preach this often here at MoveGB, as a sedentary lifestyle which office jobs breed can be detrimental to your wellbeing. There are so many negative effects to sitting at a desk all day, so combat these by integrating small doses of exercise throughout your day.
- Top ways to fit exercise throughout your working day:
- Use a standing desk
- Set a break timer
- Do leg lifts under your desk (leg weights optional!)
- Try subtle stretches at your desk
See more top tips to stay active at your desk job.
Now if only all bosses would let employees do this! Sometimes workload and location can be a barrier to getting in lunchtime workouts, but they can have an astounding effect on both your physical and mental wellbeing. Not to mention, your fitness goals!
We get in lunchtime workouts here at MoveGB HQ, and we find that it works wonders for our energy levels. And if you don’t trust our word for it, then trust this study:
Leeds Metropolitan University found some interesting connections between daytime exercising and productivity at work. 200+ employees at a variety of companies reported their performance on a daily basis to see the effect exercise had on the days when they worked out. On days when employees visited the gym, they reported:
- Managing their time more effectively.
- Having higher levels of productivity.
- Having smoother interactions with their colleagues.
- Having a higher level of satisfaction by the end of the working day.
Time to have a chat to your boss about company lunchtime workouts….
Take the long way home
If you’re having a rest day or you can’t make it to your usual fitness activity, try fit exercise into your daily life by jazzing up your commute. Walk all the way home or use a bike… and if that’s not possible, get off your bus two stops early to fit in a brisk walk. Keep the pace high, play music to keep to your stride and get your heart rate up!
A great way to ensure you’re getting in enough steps into your day is by investing in some kind of activity tracker. Whether it’s a FitBit, an Apple Watch or just using the ‘Health’ app on your iPhone, you’ll be more conscious of your activity. It may either be a good or dismaying surprise to see how many steps you actually do a day… but at least you can now monitor your activity and adjust your lifestyle accordingly.
Meal Planning and Prepping
Organising your meals for the week or month is a top way to free up your time, stay on a healthy eating plan and stick to a budget. It can take a bit of time to plan and prep, but once you it nailed, you’ll find yourself spending less time in the kitchen and supermarket, and having more time to dedicate to working out.
Forget about post-workout hanger and have planned snacks in your bag, or blissfully come home to a well-rounded, nutritious meal.
As well as the short-term side effects of too many late nights (bleary eyes, poor concentration and fatigue), research has linked sleep deprivation with everything from increasing your risk of catching the common cold to obesity. Time to get more Zzzz’s!
Put your phone away an hour or two before bedtime, take a hot bath, dim the lights and snuggle down. When you're well-rested, you're more alert, efficient, and able to deal with whatever the world throws at you. Plus, your energy levels will be through the roof so you’ll be able to smash your fitness goals for the day!
We all only have 24 hours in a day, but keeping on track to your fitness goals comes down to how you utilise those hours. Time management, organisation and avoiding procrastination is key to making time for your fitness, especially if you have a hectic schedule! But you can do it.
Keeping productive is now so much easier with the variety of apps available, but we’re all human… don’t be afraid to ignore them when you need your relaxation time. As a wise man once said: “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” Amen.