As well as using good time management, another way to find time to exercise is to build it into the natural rhythm of your day. Depending on your lifestyle, you might want to consider the following ideas.
If you’re in employment
Despite advances in technology, many of us still spend more – rather than less – time at work. However, there are time-saving tips when it comes to working out:
- Go for a walk in your lunch break. Try to find at least three different walks and vary them throughout the week. It might even be possible to find an indoor walking route, incorporating stair climbing, for those inevitable bad weather days.
- Have meetings ‘on the hoof’. There’s no reason why one-to-one meetings with clients and colleagues can’t take place while walking around the local park rather then sitting in an office. Such meetings can be an excellent way of breaking the ice with new contacts.
- Talk to your employers about promoting health at work. Ask if it’s possible for them to provide showers and cycle racks to encourage people to cycle to work. You might also be able to encourage them to set up a gym. Sell the idea by pointing out that doing so will improve productivity, reduce absenteeism and result in a happier and more efficient workforce.
- Walk to and from work. If you live too far away, park further from the office or get off the bus or Tube one stop earlier.
If you look after children
Having children can change everything about your lifestyle. Some parents find their activity levels drop and their weight increases as going to the gym or playing sport becomes more difficult. Here are some positive steps you can take:
- Exercise with your child. Take them to the local swimming pool or play in the garden or local park.
- Find out which local sports and leisure centres have crèche facilities, so you can exercise while your children are being looked after.
- Walk your child to school. Not only will this help you to be active, it will also help your child develop an early pattern of physical activity that might stay with them into adulthood.
- Find out if there are activities available at your child’s school for the local community. Many schools use their facilities for sports and exercise classes in the evenings and at weekends.
- Ask your child what you can do to be more active. You might be surprised by what they’ve learned in PE – and perhaps you’ve forgotten what fun it is to play childhood games!
If you’re a student
As well as studying vocational and academic courses, students learn about and experiment with new lifestyles. Get into good habits by trying out the following:
- Go for walks with friends to talk about your studies. Brainstorming about an essay as you walk around the campus can be a productive use of your time.
- Spend some time in the learning resource centre reading about sport, exercise and health. The more you know, the more choices you have about how to be physically active.
- Most colleges run sport and exercise programmes that students can take part in. Find out which activities are on offer, and try those you think you might enjoy. Be adventurous and pick something you’ve not tried before.
If you’re based at home
If you find you spend most of your day in the house, try these tips to stay active and healthy:
- Plan your week so you have to walk to the shops frequently. By going often you’ll only have to carry light bags of shopping back.
- Look at ways in which you can be more active in and around your home. Use the stairs to exercise, work on the garden or install some gym equipment, for example. Even hiding the remote control for the TV can help.
- Look for community-based activity programmes in your local area. These don’t have to be fitness classes, just anything that gets you moving. Conservation groups can be a great way to get involved in improving your local environment and being active at the same time.
No time like the present
Exercise is never a waste of time, it’s an important part of a healthy lifestyle. It reduces your risk of heart attack and is an essential component in controlling body weight.
It’s also something you can do with other people, which can be great fun. So, there’s no time like the present to make that commitment to yourself to find time to exercise and improve your health.