Health & Fitness

Getting fit for the holidays: Easy ways to make exercise part of your daily routine

Trying to keep up with your workouts but finding it hard to allocate time to do so? Here are a few ways to make it easier to work out so you’ll run out of excuses not to!

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The end of the year provides a conundrum. We tend to have more events, parties and weddings to attend that inspire us to work out more, but at the same time it’s often the busiest time of the year, which gives us less time to actually get around to exercising.

You might not have the time to schedule weekly classes at the gym, or you may be too tired to hit the gym before work, but there are other ways to incorporate a little exercise into your daily routine that will work around your busy schedule.

#1 Keep a set of workout clothes handy

You might live someplace that’s out of the way, which can make getting to the gym a chore. Once you’re home after work, there’s very little that is going to motivate you to head out to the gym.

Say you had dinner plans, but they fell through during the day. Having a set of workout attire on hand means you can still hit the gym after work instead of heading home! Comfy clothes also make you more open to getting your sweat on, which might motivate you to hit the gym during lunch, or to walk home from the train station or the bus stop instead of taking a cab home from the office. I recommend leaving a bag of clean clothes and comfy shoes at work for when such an occasion arises!


#2 Use a workout app

Exercise doesn’t have to be a solid hour of crossfit or yoga. You can even do a quick five-minute HIIT workout or perform a series of planks, sit-ups or pushups. I’ve tried the Nike+ Training Club app which has free workouts that cater to different fitness levels and the amount of time you have to spare! Some of them don’t even require any equipment. Just trust me when I recommend starting at a beginner level, unless you’re particularly fit.

You can search Youtube for quick five-minute workout routines that you can slot into your schedule just before a shower at the end of the day. The best part? It doesn’t require a gym membership!


#3 Turn everything into a workout

Try little things like leg raises while you watch TV, work on your computer, or iron clothes. There’s an opportunity to work out the parts of your body that aren’t in regular use, which is going to be especially effective for toning up your muscles. It’s not the same as cardio or a proper weight session at the gym, but it’s still going to make a difference in the long run.

You can also buy a skipping rope or hula hoop and use the latter while watching TV! The possibilities are pretty vast when it comes to this tip, and doing a little bit a day will reduce your pangs of guilt for not having the time or energy to hit the gym.


#4 Track your daily fitness

There are so many fitness trackers available right now to suit your level of activity and your fitness needs. Some just track your daily steps, others count calories burned and your heart rate, others even track your sleep cycle to see if you’re getting a healthy night of sleep. I’ve been using the new Apple Watch for a few weeks now and I must say I like that it has a function that shares your daily activity! This means you and your partner or BFF can motivate each other to work out more. The Apple Watch app tracks the number of calories burned, the number of steps taken, distance travelled, number of minutes spent exercising, and the number of hours in the day you were physically active. Having someone to motivate you, even if it’s through an app or by sharing daily stats, is a great way of consciously focusing your thoughts on the need to exercise.


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