When the year started, you made a resolution to stay fit by eating healthy foods and exercising. How is that going? Are you still on track? If you are having trouble sticking to this, don’t worry, you are not alone.
“I don’t have time” is the most common excuse people give for why they don’t exercise – and it is understandable up to a point. With the busy schedules we have, along with being stuck at home, getting the time and motivation to exercise can be difficult.
Nonetheless, this is not an excuse to stay inactive until the unknown future date when the pandemic will end so that you can go back to the gym. There are many physical activities you can do to stay fit, even when you have no time or access to the gym.
Below are some simple exercises that will help you stay fit. They won’t take up too much of your time and can easily be slipped into your daily schedule.
1. Take the stairs
With the advanced technology we have today, life has become much easier than before. Elevators and escalators are installed in almost all story buildings, including some homes, and they are always convenient. If you are already struggling to find time to exercise, you should consider using the stairs instead of the elevator to squeeze in some extra physical activity.
When stuck at home due to the pandemic, you can go up and down your apartment/home staircase several times every day after work.
Some good reasons to start climbing the stairs include;
- Better health – It increases your heart rate, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
- Weight loss – You burn 7-11 calories per minute spent climbing the stairs. This is more than you burn when jogging.
- Convenience – You can find them in plenty of places, and you don’t have to wear any particular clothes for this exercise.
- Muscle strength – You use all the muscles in your legs and at the same time swing your arms; thus activating your abs. Your lean muscle mass will increase in the long run.
2. Opt for the basket when shopping
When shopping for groceries, using a trolley is practical, especially if you are buying many items. You, however, do not burn any extra calories pushing the cart.
If you are not shopping for too many items, grab a basket instead. Why choose a basket? It not only limits the space to add excess unnecessary items(favoring your budget), but using one allows you to exercise.
As you lift the basket full of produce, work on both hands by switching from one to the other while going around the store or when waiting in the checkout line.
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3. Dance to your favorite music
A little movement of the body is better than none. And with the current pandemic situation forcing us to spend nearly the entire day indoors sitting, we must look for ways to do some exercise.
Dancing doesn’t have to be a thing you do only when having fun at a party, you can also use it to stay fit – and you don’t even need to be a great dancer.
Put on your favorite playlist, and dance to the rhythm after work, as you make dinner, or when preparing for bed.
Watch and dance along to the free salsa and Zumba dance tutorials on Youtube that are specifically made to promote fitness. Zumba involves choreographed body movements that follow the beat of salsa and other international music. You can have the entire family join you in the fun.
Some reasons to include dancing into your schedule include;
- Weight loss – an average 69 kg person burns up to 99 calories after a 30-minute dance session. Salsa and Zumba dance burn around 450 calories after a 1-hour session.
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and other diseases associated with a sedentary lifestyle
- Improved coordination and balance
- Entertainment – Dancing is fun and lifts your mood.
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4. Park away from the store
The more steps you take, the more you keep your body in motion and burn extra calories.
Add more steps by parking further away from the store when you go on errands, and walk the remaining distance.
Later, when you resume work at the office after the pandemic, you can do the same thing by walking to and from the office to the car.
A swim makes you feel rejuvenated and is a great way to stay fit while at home. It exercises your whole body as you struggle to move against the water’s resistance.
If you have no time for any other physical activity, make a routine of getting in the swimming pool.
Other than helping you to stay physically fit, swimming is great for your heart health, builds endurance as well as muscle strength.
6. Walk! Walk! Walk!
Take your dog for a walk. Take a stroll around the neighborhood. Walk to the grocery store. Walk around when speaking on the phone. Walk to any place that is not too far away instead of driving.
In short, walk as much as you can. It stimulates your cardiovascular system, thereby reducing the risks of heart diseases.
Incorporating 30 minutes of brisk walking into your daily schedule helps you burn up to 150 calories.
7. Play with your children
The one good thing about staying at home due to the pandemic, is that you get to spend more time with your family. However, the kids get restless and are full of energy, and therefore, they are always up to something. During family time, don’t just sit there watching them play ‘catch’, join them instead.
Chase the ball with them, run around, and teach them one or two tricks of a particular game.
Trying to keep up with their energy might prove a better exercise than going to the gym.
8. Skipping rope
This simple activity is one of the most effective cardio exercises. Skipping rope is a full-body workout. It strengthens your upper and lower body and burns a lot of calories within a short period.
According to studies by the American Association for Health, 10 minutes of skipping a rope is equivalent to 30 minutes of jogging.
As you wait for food to cook in the oven, make a few jumps. Squeeze rope jumping into any free moment you get and make it part of your daily routine.
9. Workout at work or home
You don’t need complex equipment to exercise. You can do some basic workouts at home, safely; including lifting weights, squats, lunges, crunches, planks, push-ups, or pull-ups among many others.
These workouts get your heart rate up, help break some sweat, and burns some calories. All you need is some free space in your home or yard.
Make a few reps every time you get some spare time, for instance, during your lunch break or after work.
10. Exercise while waiting in the queue
Queuing is boring and brings a feeling of impatience. Instead of doing nothing while standing in line, take advantage of this opportunity to keep your body in motion.
It doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks. Your body is your responsibility. Use the time to do a few exercises such as squats, lunges, and stretches.
People make time for the things that are important to them.
Exercise is an integral part of healthy living. When it comes to staying fit, there is no excuse. Use the above simple exercise hacks. They are easy to fit into your schedule, and you can do them almost anywhere. As long as fitness is your goal, every opportunity will present itself as a way to exercise.