It must be nice to be one of these super-committed fitness types who manages to work gym attendance into their diary and never misses a lunchtime run.
The reality for many of us, though, is that there’s simply not enough time. It’s not an easy excuse, it’s the truth.
With work pressures, study, sick relatives, children, partners and friends all competing for a precise piece of your 24 hours, sometimes a weekly gym session (let alone three of them) is just not a possibility. (Post continues after gallery.)
Personally, I would love even an hour to myself to focus on my health and attend a regular fitness class. But with two kids (and another arriving within weeks), a husband, a house to run, two dogs, a job and family pressures it’s just not going to happen.
So, do you just pack it in and put it in the already full ‘too hard’ basket? Nope. There are actually plenty of things you can squeeze in which will not only keep your body in check and give you some kind of physical movement, but will also refresh your mind.
According to Dr Mike Evans, the trick for crazy-busy people is to intersperse your exercise throughout the day rather than trying (and stressing) to find a solid block of time in which to work out.
Dr Mike Evans has looked into this idea and suggests that sneaking small bursts of fitness into an already packed schedule is the way to go. Here are some of his suggestions:
1. Walking meetings
Funny concept, great outcome. You've already blocked out a set period of time with your colleagues to discuss what needs discussing so why not get out in the fresh air while you're at it? It's far more pleasant than a stuffy boardroom and you'll often find your mind is a lot clearer. With the focus being on your conversation, you'll barely notice the incidental exercise you've accomplished. No ones asking you to sprint it out around the park, just maintaining a steady walking pace is enough to get your heart rate up.
2. Make your travel harder
I know what you're thinking: what can be harder than sitting next to the stinky guy who spends the journey reading text messages over your shoulder? Well, that is pretty rough... but what Dr Evans means is that making little changes can have a big impact to the amount of exercise you fit into the day. This includes your commute.
He suggests getting off the train or bus just one stop earlier than you usually would and walking the rest of the distance to work. Likewise, if you drive to the office, park further away and walk the remainder of the distance. Plus, you might actually find the parking is cheaper. Winning. (Post continues after video.)
3. Elevate yourself
We've all heard it a thousand times, but it's true: taking the stairs rather than the lift is a simple way to sneak some exercise into your day without having to find more hours. In fact, by the time you wait for the lift to arrive you won't have wasted much time at all.
4. Get involved
Another fantastic idea is to make your social activities based around fitness. Things like a night of bowling, dancing, or netball all fulfill the social quota and allow you to do good things for yourself. Consider a Saturday morning walk rather than brunch - your wallet will be very happy.
How do you sneak fitness into an already packed schedule?