From The Straits Times    |

Image: Andres Rodriguez/123rf

There are many ways to weave exercise into your life seamlessly so you can do enough good for your body without feeling like you’ve just run 10km. Here are a few simple ideas:

1. Combine exercise with socialising
The next time you catch up with your friends, arrange to do so over a healthy activity, such as a jog or a power walk. Larger groups can meet for a game of basketball, football, or whatever you guys fancy. Calling or trying to FaceTime someone overseas? Why not grab your earphones and stroll around your neighbourhood as you talk?

2. Incorporate a little extra exercise into your daily routine
If you take the feeder bus, get off the bus a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the journey. Better yet, skip taking the bus and walk all the way to your destination if you can spare the time. To burn more calories, walk faster to increase your heart rate.

If you drive, try parking your car a little farther away – just remember to factor in the extra walking time when you set the morning alarm. And don’t be lazy for this one: take the stairs instead of the lift, and walk up the escalator rather than standing on the left. You’ll feel fitter almost immediately.

3. TV gets tough
A quick search online will throw up plenty of workout ideas for television time: from tricep dips to crunches and squats, pick some you fancy and multitask away in your living room.

4. Work other muscles when you grocery shop
Ditch the supermarket trolley for a basket when you’re grocery shopping so you’ll be working your arms as well, in addition to the legwork. You can even increase the intensity of the “workout” by holding the basket as far away from your body as you can.

Reaching for items on the top shelf gives you an opportunity to do calf raises, while you can work your thighs by squatting instead of bending down to reach for something on the bottom shelf.

5. Turn housework into a workout
If housework is an unavoidable duty, why not turn it into a fun workout session?
Not only will playing music you can dance to while cleaning help you burn more calories, the music might also motivate you to get the job done quickly!

Other tips include squatting when picking up items and having a race with your housework partner to see who finishes cleaning an area first, or set a timer and try to beat your own personal record.
When mopping or vacuuming, make sure to lean as far as you can with each stroke to really work those arms and core.


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