Fitness tips for the time-strapped
Think you've got no time to exercise? Motivation expert and personal Trainer Dax Moy sets the record straight, and he’s not messing around...
1. Think 'Something rather than nothing
Many people end up doing no training at all because they have been brainwashed into thinking that a decent exercise session has to last an hour or more. This is simply not the case. The body works on a 'minimum dose response' system whereby it improves relative to your last exercise session. If you don't do any exercise at all then even 1 minute a day (yes, you read that right) will still yield benefits . Something ALWAYS trumps nothing... and there's ALWAYS time for something! As long as you're doing more than you usually do (1 more minute, 1 more set, 1 more reps, 1 more lb) then your results will still come.
2. Little and often
If you're stuck for time then little and often is a brilliant approach to improving your fitness.
Try 3-4 minutes before you hit the shower in the morning, go for a 3-4 minute walk and 'earn' your lunch break. Maybe do 3-4 minutes when you get home and before you go to bed and you may well have amassed more than 20-30 minutes of decent exercise. May not sound much but do this daily and it adds up and, of course, as per the last point, something ALWAYS beats nothing.
3. Use the ad breaks on TV
Ad breaks come on every 12-15 minutes on most commercial stations and last for around 3 minutes each. Instead of getting up, raiding the fridge and grabbing a coffee whenever one comes on, spend the 3 minutes doing exercises either as a circuit or back-to-back 'superset' (squats and pushups for example). Every hour will see you completing 12 minutes of exercise so over three hours in the evening you'll have done 36 minutes of quality work.
4. Squeeze it!
Your body doesn't actually know the difference between barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, yoga, pilates, gymnastics or dance. All it knows is that a muscle is asked to contract for a certain tension and a certain time. This is great news as you can contract your muscles anytime, anywhere. Sitting there in your chair, standing on the tube, waiting in line for your lunch, you can contract thighs, glutes, abs, chest, arms and, well, anything. Just squeeze for all you're worth (between 70% and 00% of your maximum effort) for 5-10 reps of 5-10 seconds each and you'll have given yourself a pretty decent workout that's strengthened and toned your muscles.