Sometimes it feels you’re juggling a hundred things a day, and looking after yourself takes a backseat. Here are some easy ways to keep fitness levels up while working your 9-5.
It can be daunting trying to balance work-life and “real” life – and just when you think you’ve it worked out, you have to rejig it all again to squeeze in some fitness sessions.
But it doesn’t have to be so hard. Here are six things you can do to help weave workouts smoothly into your week…
1. Stock up on Vitamin D
First and foremost, make sure to get the right vitamins to set you up for a healthy and active week. Vitamin D has been proven to boost energy levels, as well as help muscle repair, and it helps us to build resistance to stress. So on days when the sun isn’t there to provide it, top up with a supplement, so you can build up body and mind for your day ahead.
2. Take advantage of your commute
Depending on how far you have to travel to work, you can try weaving exercise into your daily commute. Many workplaces have storage areas for bikes, and showers so employees who cycle in can freshen up after their journey.
Not into cycling? Powerwalking your way to work gives you a refreshing start to the day, as does skate-boarding, rollerblading and even scootering. The world is your oyster when it comes to travelling to work in the morning.
3. Take 3 minutes
You may be familiar with the idea that everyone should aim to take 10,000 steps a day. But what if we said you needn’t count too closely? The 10,000 step rule began in Japan in the 1980s after a fitness watch (think a retro FitBit) was released with the name “10,000”. But recently, health experts announced that it’s far better for your heart to fit in 3 minutes of intense exercise per day, than 10,000 slow steps.
Take advantage of your lunch break and take a powerwalk, or even do a mini-circuit in a nearby park, if your office doesn’t have a gym.
4. Get help from apps
If you hate getting home from a long day at the office and having to don your gym gear before heading out again, consider just staying in to do your workout. Apps such as Sweat with Kayla, Qinetic and Sworkit make working out from your living room floor much more doable. Think of all the time you’ll save getting to the gym, changing, showering, and getting home again…
5. Mix work and play
Or, in fact, social and fitness. Instead of organising drinks with workmates or old friends over the weekend, why not stage a park circuit class or start a hiking club? Exercise gets those endorphins going, meaning you’re sure to have a great time – plus exercising in a group gives that extra kick of motivation. And who’s to say you can’t reward yourselves with a picnic or a drink in the sun afterwards?
6. Take a bits-and-pieces attitude, not an all-or-nothing one
When trying to balance work and fitness, the most important thing is to take things day by day and not to beat yourself up if you miss that gym session or a run you’d been planning. There are plenty of little things you can do throughout the day to get blood pumping without even trying, like taking the stairs instead of the lift or walking instead of getting the bus.
You can’t control what might come up that means you have to miss your planned workout. Sometimes you need that extra bit of “me time” or time to relax, so be easy on yourself – you can always pick up where you left off the next day.