Regular exercise is important and during winter we can often find excuses to skip our usual exercise routine. This month Hopewood contributor, Robyn Chuter, discusses some easy ways to build exercise into your day.
Think short and sweet
Many people don’t use the little bits and bobs of free time that pop up during the course of their day to exercise, because they think that exercise needs to be done in one long, hard, puffing-and-panting session in order to be worthwhile.
Not true! Incidental movement – short bursts of activity – such as walking to your supervisor’s office (rather than sending an email) and taking the stairs rather than the lift, can contribute significantly to the number of calories/kilojoules you burn each day. And breaking ‘formal’ exercise up into short blocks may actually be better than doing it all at once. A study of exercise for weight loss found that people who did 40 minutes of treadmill exercise in four blocks of ten minutes each, lost more weight than those who did their 40 minutes in one long, boring block.
Exercise with hand weights or resistance bands, or good old-fashioned floor exercises like push-ups and sit-ups, can also be done in short bursts whenever you have a few minutes to spare. How about an exercise session in the ad break of your favourite TV show, rather than an expedition to the kitchen to grab a snack?
Keep exercise equipment handy
Q: Where is the worst place to keep your exercise equipment?
A: In the garage: it’s often cold and draughty, there’s usually no stereo there to play up-beat music, and your equipment is out of sight (and therefore, usually out of mind).
Q: Where is the best place to keep it?
A: In the lounge room! There your equipment is in full view, easily accessible, and able to be incorporated into daily activities such as talking on the phone or watching TV.