I tend to get a bit shitty when exercise instructors claim that every one has time to exercise EVERY DAY. I’ll admit that yes, most days I can squeeze in a quick half hour on the treadmill if not a longer workout a few times a week. However there are actually some days when I have 5 deadlines, several meetings, a couple of events and important dinner plans and I literally do not have the time to exercise. If I haven’t spent even one second watching TV or surfing YouTube then I feel like I can legitimately say I didn’t have time to exercise, because they are my primary exercise procrastination activities. Here are a few sneaky hacks that I use for when I honestly do not have time to exercise.
Use a pedometer
Pedometers were invented in Japan by a man called Y Hatano who did years of medical research and concluded that 10,000 steps per day is the optimum amount for weight maintenance if no excess calories are consumed. I used to have a FitBit One that I was utterly addicted to and now I have the Apple Watch and I don’t think I’ve ever left the house without it since I got it. I try to do some type of formal exercise most days of the week but some days I simply don’t have the time. As long as I walk my 10,000 steps every day, I feel a lot less guilty about skipping the gym.
Watch your favourite TV show while you work out
If I ever have a day where I’m exhausted and just want to go home and flop on the couch with a few episodes of The Mindy Project, I allow myself to have a lame workout day. I take my iPad to the gym and do a slow, gentle, fat burning jog while watching a show on the iPad. It’s the perfect way to have a day ‘off’ without actually skipping your workout. It’s also perfect for multi-tasking: watching your favourite show while working out at the same time. I also have a treadmill at home set up with a TV which is the best thing in the world. If you have the money and space to do this, do it.
Walk to the supermarket and carry the groceries home
I suggested to a friend that she try this and she recoiled… “But… it’s like an hour return trip!“. I was all… yeah so? Once she accounted for traffic and finding a park it was only going to take her an extra 20 minutes to walk and it would be so much better for her health. Exercise is a lot easier if it’s functional. I find jogging to the shops a lot more inspiring that running in circles around an oval, getting no where. Multi-task your to-do list and work in a work out while doing your grocery shop. Going on a long walk to get the groceries is going to take a lot less time than grocery shopping and THEN going to the gym.
Every second week I have a major clean of my house and scrub it from top to bottom. It usually takes a few hours and I sweat like a demon so I always count that as my workout for the day. 30 minutes of vacuuming will burn about 100 calories which is the same as 15 minutes of kick boxing. Bargain. You get a good work out and at the end of it all you get a super clean house to sit around and be awesome in. Win.
Have walking catch up sessions with your girlfriends
I often catch up with girlfriends when I’ve finished work for the day but we usually meet at a pub for a glass of wine. I try to squeeze in a gym session in between work and our catch ups but it doesn’t often happen, so one of my friends and I have started to walk to an out-of-the-way pub about a 30 minute hike away to get some extra steps in. It works brilliantly – we drink less because we spend an hour walking and we manage to squeeze in some physical activity without forfeiting our entire evening.