New research reveals more than three in four people find that going to the gym has a positive impact on their mental health and wellbeing. Here, we share 5 simple ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine to work around a busy schedule
A survey commissioned by ukactive found that more than three-quarters (78%) of people find going to the gym improves their mental health and wellbeing with two-thirds (66%) citing that exercising helps them sleep better. The findings come as hundreds of thousands of people in the UK join or rejoin a gym, swimming pool, or leisure centre as part of a New Year's resolution to improve their fitness.
After a busy day at work, the thought of a strenuous workout session may not sound appealing to everyone, but staying active doesn’t always have to mean splashing out on an expensive gym membership or training for a marathon. Here, we share five simple ways to make time for exercise with a busy schedule.
For those who struggle with early mornings, the idea of setting your alarm for a workout session may sound unappealing, however, getting your body moving in the morning can be a great way to gradually ease you into the day. You can use these early starts as a way to get in some valuable 'me-time', incorporating just ten minutes of yoga, pilates, or a brisk walk into your morning routine is an effective way to boost your energy levels, help you feel more productive and start the day off on a positive note.
Consider using your commute to work as an opportunity to move your body - if possible, this could mean walking to work instead of driving. If you use public transport, another simple way to get some extra steps in is to get off a stop or two early and walk the rest of the way. You can also check if your employer runs a cycle-to-work scheme, cycling is a great way to boost fitness whilst also helping to reduce your carbon footprint.
Micro workouts, also known as 'exercise snacking,' are short bursts of exercise that can be done whenever you have a few minutes of free time. For example, if you're watching TV at home, grab a fitness mat and do squats and lunges in between adverts. While you're waiting for the kettle to boil or the microwave to ding, why not try some calf stretches or push-ups against a wall or kitchen counter? These short exercises require little to no equipment and can be performed anywhere, if you’re not sure where to start, check out some YouTube videos for inspiration!
Take the stairs
This one may seem obvious, but taking the stairs instead of the lift is a simple change that can help you stay more active throughout the day. Climbing stairs is an excellent leg and glute workout, as well as a quick and effective way to raise your heart rate. Research shows that stair climbing helps to increase the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, lowering your stress and helping you to focus. If you work on one of the upper floors of a building, try to make the stairs a daily habit and notice the difference in how your body feels.
Use your lunch break as an opportunity to get some fresh air, stretch your legs and recharge your brain. Not only is walking a simple activity to maintain your overall health, but it’s also an excellent way to get the creative juices flowing. Research suggests a gentle lunchtime stroll in nature can have a positive impact on mood, increase energy levels and help with feelings of anxiety and stress.
Remember, incorporating daily exercise doesn't have to be challenging or time-consuming, by adopting enjoyable methods to sneak exercise into your day you can stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle without compromising on your busy schedule.