Workouts for the over-worked: How to fit a workout into a busy routine

Our top tips to help you squeeze a regular workout in to your busy life.

Whether you’re a business owner, a working mum or an executive working flat chat, by the time you get through each day’s to-do list, fitting in a workout can seem tricky.

We grilled those in the know for their top tips for keeping in shape while keeping on top of things.

1. Break it down into chunks – Guy Leech (celebrity trainer)

Break up physical activity into manageable chunks of time and fit them into your daily routine. You could park your car a few blocks away from the office and walk for 15 minutes or so, or get off the bus a few stops earlier. Add a workout while you watch your favourite TV program – you could do five three-minute exercises during each ad break.

2. Knock it over in the morning - Emilie Brabon-Hames (early morning drill sergeant)

Are you a ‘morning person’? Use the time before work or your everyday activities to fit exercise into your day. Set out everything you think you need the night before and have your gym bag packed and at the front door ready to go. Set your alarm and get up as soon as it goes off. Get washed and dressed straight away so you don’t have time to make excuses. Remember, you’ll likely feel on top of the world once you’re done!

3. Don’t spend big – Jen Dugard (busy mum)

You don’t have to have a gym membership to keep active – buy a resistance elastic to add to your at-home workout. They are small, can be kept in your lounge room or thrown in your sports bag or pram to use at the park. You can increase the resistance by shortening the elastic so it is stretched tighter. Use the resistance band for exercises like squats, lunges, and push-ups.

4. Slow down – Jonathon Cawte (exercise physiologist)

If you feel constantly under pressure you may benefit from slowing down and getting some rest, which is critical for staying in top form. But remember that regular exercise can help boost your energy levels and improve your stamina. This in turn can act as a buffer against stress.

5. Do a 15-minute yoga session – Nikola Ellis (yogi)

You don’t have to do a 90-minute class to reap the benefits of yoga. When Nikola is in a rush, she does the following 15-minute sequence.

  • Sit comfortably, eyes closed and listen to your breath travel in and out for around 10 breaths. Set an intention (why you are doing this practice), such as ‘to relax’ or ‘for clarity’. 
  • Move onto your hands and knees. Inhale, then exhale to sit back on your heels with your forehead touching the floor (child’s pose). Inhale, and move back onto your hands and knees. Repeat this six times.
  • Inhale, then exhale into the downward-dog position. Inhale back onto your hands and knees and then repeat six times. 
  • Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Slowly scan your body, then focus on your breathing. Each time you have a thought, let it go and refocus on the breath. Do this for five to 10 minutes. 
  • At the end of your meditation, remind yourself of your intention.

Whether it’s yoga, an early morning workout or an at-home workout, it is important to listen to your body and find out what works best for you.

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