4 Easy Ways To Incorporate Fitness Into Your Busy Week
For the past few months, I have been getting back on the proverbial “fitness horse” after an embarrassingly long hiatus. Like most people, the issues for me surrounding fitness are: 1. Finding the time and 2. Finding the motivation. My life has gotten exponentially busier over the last six months and finding the time to workout during the work week has been tough. I’ve started taking Barre classes every weekend which I’ve been enjoying, but I am have been searching for ways to incorporate some activity into my weekly routine. I’ve recently started focusing more on movement instead of the idea of “traditional” fitness. Working at a desk everyday means I don’t get to move as much as I should or want to. I have started incorporating these easy things into my daily and weekly routines to help balance things out a bit between workouts.
1. Get in your steps
You may have read that we all should aiming to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. That sounds like a lot. Especially since the average person only gets in about only 3-4,000 a day. I typically get in about 5,500-6,500 steps a day due to walking during my morning and and afternoon commutes to and from work. And that’s pretty good for someone who sits at a desk all day. The science behind walking 10k steps is a bit loosey goosey in the sense of “who came up with that magic number?” But - walking is a proven healthy low impact form of exercise and is overall great for our bodies. So for me, I focus on increasing that number just a bit a couple of times a week. I push for 8k or 9k. And if I’m feeling ambitious I shoot for the magic 10k. Because despite the science not showing that 10k is a magic bullet number it still burns an average of 2,00 to 3,500 calories A WEEK. And that’s nothing to scoff at. Plus I find walking overall to be very enjoyable. You get fresh air, you can pop on some music or a podcast and just be alone with your thoughts for awhile. And that in an of itself can do wonders for your MENTAL health as well as physical. And if the weather is too bad to venture out? Take a couple of laps around your office. Get up from your desk and go visit a few co-workers. The point is to move. Humans are not meant to be sedentary for hours upon hours every day.
2. Try a 7 minute workout
I recently discovered Lucy Wyndham-Read’s workouts on YouTube. Okay, that’s a lie. I’ve known about her and her workouts for awhile. I’ve even been subscribed to her channel for ages. I just never did any of the workouts. I can’t be the only person who does stuff like this, right? Anyway, now that I have decided to be like Brie Larson and get strong enough to push a Jeep up a hill (just kidding- but have you seen that video of Brie Larson pushing a TRUCK UP A HILL?! If not then please do - it’s BEYOND motivating and inspiring.) I started actually watching the videos and they are great. My personal fave at the moment is her 7 minute full body workout. It’s literally a seven minute routine. You do everything standing up and it requires no equipment. I do this routine when I am super busy and haven’t had a chance to squeeze in a full workout. It’s a great way to have done something for your body when you are pressed for time. And it’s kind of a no excuse type of deal. We can all take seven minutes out of our day, right? We spend more time than that going on a coffee run in the afternoon. So when the chips are down and I am either feeling a bit tired and worn out or I simply don’t have much time- I do the 7 minute routine and feel like despite everything I still took a bit of time out for my fitness and health.
3. Do a Few Stretches
I am often really bad about stretching my body…and then I wonder why my muscles feel so tense and tight. But I’m getting better about it. What I like to do now is a do a few simple stretches before bed. I focus on my neck, shoulders, lower back and hip flexors. All the areas that get tight from sitting at a desk all day. Specifically my hip flexors which are naturally pretty tight and need stretching. This will also help you in the long run with workouts to help prevent injury. Stretching in the morning can be invigorating and a few stretches at night can help alleviate any kinks that prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.
4. Take the stairs
Much like walking taking the stairs instead of the escalators can be a sneaky way to fit in movement and a tiny bit of cardio. And taking the stairs can be added to your daily steps goal.
Real talk: I hate stairs. I am an escalator loving chick. But there are a few places I go to everyday where steps are unavoidable and that’s a good thing. So if you have the option to take one or the other - take the stairs. However grudgingly.
My main bit of advice - and I’m talking to you as much as myself, dear reader - is be kind to yourself. Fitness is a commitment we make each and every day. It is not a one and done deal. It is not something we decide on January 1st and then magically all of our issue are solved. Take it a day at a time. As long as you aim to do at least one good things for your body everyday - you’re winning.