Working full-time doesn’t leave much room in your life for a daily workout, but you can still make the most of your busy schedule to be healthy. You can meet the recommended daily or weekly exercise time even with a hectic calendar by setting aside a designated exercise time. A weekly cycling class or a nightly guided aerobics workout are just some of the many enjoyable workout programs you can take for a healthier you.
The average adult needs at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity a week. While that may seem like a lot to you, if you can squeeze in 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, you’ll achieve the same effect. According to the American Heart Association, mix both moderate and vigorous activity throughout the week in as much time as possible with your busy schedule, for the best results.
Moderate aerobic activity includes walking, jogging, gentle yoga, cleaning, biking leisurely, dancing, and water aerobics. Other household chores like gardening and mowing the lawn also count toward your weekly 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity. It’s a win-win situation when you clean and exercise at the same time, so you shouldn’t feel bad about not doing traditional exercises like taking a walk or doing lunges.
Vigorous-intensity exercises, on the other hand, should raise your heart rate to a point where it’s a little difficult to hold a smooth conversation without taking frequent breaths. Exercises in this category include hiking steep inclines, swimming laps in the pool, cycling at fast speeds, lifting weights, and playing sports. One way to improve things while doing a vigorous exercise is recruiting a family member or friend to make it more enjoyable.
If we break up the 150 minutes of moderate exercise into the week, we’re looking at about 21 minutes daily. For vigorous exercise, doing around 10 minutes a day should suffice. Of course, the more time you can dedicate to working out, the better. Consider blocking your 150 minutes into three days or your 75 minutes into two days. This eases pressure from having to set aside time every single day for exercising.
Consider weightlifting and strength training for a quick but effective workout. Invest in weight sets that allow you to work out at home without spending extra time trekking to the gym and back. If your office offers a gym, use it! Even a quick 15-minute set strengthens your whole body and provides countless benefits like reduced risk of diseases, better sleep, and improved mood.
Working at home may provide more room for getting exercise, and you can shower afterward if needed. Intense 10-minute workouts combining squats, pushups, jumping jacks, and other sweat-inducing exercises are great for busy professionals.
Try intense 10-minute workouts three times a week and give your body time to recuperate in between — but don’t forget to stretch! Staying loose and flexible helps prevent muscle or tendon strains and ensures your body is in top shape no matter what workout you’re doing.
During your lunch break, walk 10 minutes outside, eat, and walk back. This simple habit allows you to get that much-needed sunshine, fresh air, and exercise in one go. A quick walk also helps you reset during the workday, which can give you a boost through that mid-afternoon crash.
Another easy habit to incorporate into your day is attaching simple exercises to moments where you would otherwise be still. For instance, when you’re waiting for the coffee to brew or your printer to finish making copies, try doing 20 reps of calf raises. For these, you raise your heels until you’re on the tips of your toes and then raise your heels back down. You should feel a burning in your calves after a set, but if not, feel free to do more until you’re done playing the waiting game.
Doing workouts at home or at work helps you meet the recommended weekly exercise dose. Fortunately, exercise doesn’t strictly mean getting on a stationary bike or running laps on a field. Cleaning, dancing, gardening, and even mowing the lawn are all moderate exercises that help you meet your weekly goal. Busy professionals might not have much time for a workout, but with a few healthy tweaks in a hectic schedule, anyone can manage a healthy lifestyle.
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