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exercise Health Blog Banner 16 March

How to get more exercise when you’re short on time

Regular exercise is essential for the health and well-being of your body, but if you have a lot on your to-do list, it isn’t easy to make time to get a workout in. According to Forbes, between 75 to 150 minutes of moderate to high-intensity aerobic physical time is necessary for adults on a weekly basis.

Research shows that it increases your productivity and alleviates your stress levels when you work out. However, you may often find yourself making excuses to get out of an unpleasant task, such as exercising. 

Specialists recommend short bouts of exercise – also known as mini-workouts. They can be as effective as longer workouts and lead to effective weight loss results. Like many people, you may find it easier to stick to a shorter workout, especially if you have a busy schedule.

Getting started

Before you decide to take on mini-workouts, it is best to ask yourself why you want to take on this task. Be honest with yourself – do you lack time to exercise, or is there another reason? Perhaps you have a fear of failure, or maybe you don’t know where or how to start.

If you commit to an exercise programme, sit down with your schedule first. By looking at your schedule, you can see where to fit in a quick 15-minute workout. It may be during the lunch hour at your work. Make a list to see what your options are. 

Once you decide on accommodating your schedule, you will know what routines to change. For example, pack your workout clothes the night before to save time the following day. 

Choosing what exercises to do in your limited time is imperative too. It may be yoga, walking, a circuit workout or other options. A list of activities you may enjoy can help.

The last step is to practice, practice and practice. With all the information you gathered, commit to the workout for two weeks and then reassess how you are feeling and if you need to make any changes.

45-minute mini-workout session

If 45 minutes is all you have to spare in your busy day, opt for a fitness class that you can commit to. By joining a class that is strict on time, you have no time to procrastinate. The bonus is a leading fitness instructor who may add in benefits to an extra-efficient workout. 

Mini-workout alternatives

30-minute mini-workout

With 30 minutes to spare, a treadmill can become your best friend. You can use this time to catch up on a series by watching the episodes on your phone or tablet. 

Another option is to recruit a friend to spend 30 minutes with you. Instead of going to lunch or drinks, move around while you socialise. Window shopping is a suggestion. According to research, when you exercise with a friend, you work out harder and longer. 

15-20 minute mini-workout

An exercise physiologist says that living life is all about time management. If your schedule only allows 15 to 20 minutes to work out, catching up on sleep may be more productive. Exercising on very little sleep can do more harm than good for your body.

If you are well-rested, doing a combo workout is an option. In this workout, you will perform a strength-training circuit that alternates between each intense activity. The combo workout also caters to active recovery, a walk or light jog for 30 to 60 seconds. 

5-10 minute workout

Prepare to reject any everyday conveniences, such as parking right where you need to be, going to the closest bathroom and avoiding shortcuts. 

If making calls is on your to-do list, try taking a stroll to complete the task. This counts towards a bit of physical activity. The same applies to replying to emails. Instead of responding to an email on your laptop, reply on your phone while pacing up and down in an uninhabited space.

Another option is to get in some extra steps and quiet time by jumping off your public transport, stopping early and walking from there. 

Be the master of your mind.

It can be a challenge to stay motivated when it comes to working out, but the discipline and regularity will see you through the marathon. 

Experts encourage less intensity and more consistency. A trick is to think of working out as a fun activity – it will become something that you want to do and not have to do. 

A good playlist or a ‘workout friend’ can also encourage you to find the time to work out. A cute outfit doesn’t hurt either.  

Everyone is busy, but it is important to try and accommodate some sort of fitness routine. All of the movement that your body does can reap the benefits of exercise, even if it is done a little bit at a time. 

Affinity Health 

Affinity Health has a range of affordable healthcare plans to choose from. Members can also qualify for ‘Out of Hospital’ Benefits, Private Hospital Cover or the best of each. 

Some of the other Affinity Health Benefits are:

  • Assisting the detection and confirmation of a disease, injury, or health condition.
  • Immediate medical treatment
  • Outpatient HIV/AIDS treatment.
  • Eye, optometry, specialist consultations and more.
  • Help to manage your diabetes.
  • Admission to any medical facility.
  • Pregnancy, childbirth, and postnatal care.
  • Coverage for a work-related injury
  • Coverage for disease medical expenses 

 

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