As parents or grandparents we all know how hard it can be to find time to exercise. Unfortunately, chasing kids round the house trying to get them to do their homework doesn’t count … neither does vacuuming apparently.
So what can you do when your day is already so stretched that exercise seems like an optional extra? Do what we do best and multi-task! Ok, so you might feel like you are all ‘multi-tasked’ out so what about some exercise hacks that can save you time, get you moving, and help you get fit without having to sacrifice your other obligations?
You don’t need a gym membership, expensive equipment, or even a huge amount of time, you just need to utilise what you do have better or start doing things a little different. Small changes can make big differences!
So here they are, some exercise hacks for busy people:
- Multitask – hack your exercise equipment to be a workstation. If, like me, you spend a lot of time on your laptop/tablet/smartphone and you have a neglected piece of exercise equipment see if you can attach said computer to it. (Right now I am writing this article whilst striding my way to a better bum on my elliptical). If you don’t have a perfectly positioned stand on the front of your machine you can always create a DIY stand (see the video below) or even buy a ready made one like the SurfShelf Treadmill Desk: Laptop and iPad Holder. Play games, watch movies, work, shop online … do whatever you usually do online but do it whilst exercising and you’ll be surprised how easily you forget you’re getting a workout! There are heaps of DIY videos showing you how to make a platform for your tech like this easy walking workstation tutorial.
- Hiit – What now? Hiit (High Intensity Interval Training) is the best, fastest way to get big results in the smallest time … literally! Now, this is not for the faint of heart BUT you will feel the results immediately! Hiit ramps up your body by doing 50 seconds of hard, fast moves then a 10 second rest. It’s proven to be way more affective than a lower intensity longer workout. You can find FREE HIIT workouts online via YouTube and you can get your cardio and strength workout done in 12 minutes a day! Seriously! You will be puffed and sweating, and you will be sore tomorrow, you will also be working out in record time plus it wont cost you a cent! (If you don’t have 12 minutes, you could always opt for the 5 minute ones, but try to get two of these in a day).
- Play With The Kids – I’m sure I’m not the only one who has said “if only I could bottle their energy I’d be a billionaire”, so why not feed off the kids energy and get involved. Jumping on the trampoline gets your heart rate up and is gentle on the joints, kicking or throwing a ball around is fun and provides a great cardio boost. Climbing a tree will get you using muscles you wouldn’t normally use. Chasing the kids in the sand is a great workout for the legs, especially your calfs. Play tag in the swimming pool – the kids are ALL it, and you will be surprised how fast kids can get around in the water (you’ll be begging for mercy in no time). Take turns with a skipping rope trying to see who can do the most without stuffing up. It’s amazing how much exercise you will get if you get involved in playing with your kids rather than being a spectator – plus you will be creating awesome memories and a stronger bond with your kids!
If your trampoline is big enough, keep the kids on and challenge them to make up new moves!
- Dance Whilst Cleaning – I’ll be the first to admit that I not only hate cleaning … I despise it with every fibre of my being! Unfortunately cleaning is a necessary evil and takes up a huge chunk of time, but if you utilise the ‘multitasking’ as above and find a way to hack cleaning so it is fun (ok, maybe ‘fun’ is an overstatement) you might find that you get a workout and the cleaning doesn’t seem so bad. Turn the radio on or pop on your favourite music, pump up the volume then bust a move to the beat, sing your heart out, and get your clean on! If you need to bend over to pick something up you could even throw in a few twerking moves to get your butt moving!
Check out Chadrick Pickens YouTube Channel for more dance cleaning motivation and other things.
By better utilising your time and the things you already have around you, a better, fitter life is waiting to be discovered. Who knows, you might even find that by creating your own exercise hacks you actually find even more time in every day!
Do you have a favourite exercise hack or top tip for fitting in exercise – post in the comments below.