Fitting Fitness into a Busy Schedule

Fitness has become both a trending topic and a pressing issue following the onset of the Corona Virus pandemic. Very early in the pandemic the issue of health and fitness arose due to the sudden and dramatic lifestyle change that the entire world became subjected to. Not having gyms or fitness centers open, and not being able to see friends or loved ones and spend time doing activities in public settings quicky gave way to a physically unhealthy society.  A quarantined life has many struggles as many of us can attest to and perhaps the most common one felt is the decay of the body. Being forced to sit inside the house on a constant basis inevitably leads to loss of muscle, incease of body fat, premature ageing, and overall physical weakness.  Because so many today are stuck in this vicious cycle of poor fitness and the struggle to adapt to changing circumstances while trying to survive I decided to put together a list of 10 creative ways to get yourself back in shape without interfering with a busy schedule.  These are simple tips that can fit nicely into anyone’s day.

1. Choose comfortable clothing

Wearing comfortable clothing, without realising it or not, encourages greater physical activity throughout the day than if one were to dress in professional business attire, heels, dress shoes, or multilayered clothing. When clothes are loose, soft, and light it becomes easier to walk at a quicker pace and move around more frequently. When the body feels at ease it enjoys movement and relaxes, allowing better blood circulation which in turn stabilises metabolism and allows greater weight loss and muscle gain. Studies show that up to 5 pounds can be lost a year just from a change in wardrobe alone.

2. Take a lap around your workplace

When you are in between tasks or even in the middle of one, remember to get off your chair and take a quick lap or short walk around your work station. Due to the increase in remote work there has been very little opportunity for physical activity throughout the work day. Increasing your metabolism can be as simple as remembering to get up and walk your body as frequently as possible. Make it a habit to get up every 45 minutes to 1 hour. Some people set alarm clocks to remind them to move. Working diligently preoccupies the mind and makes it very easy to forget that consistent movement is important.  Even just a one minute walk within the hour will benefit the body significantly and improve your overall fitness. This does not take away from a busy day whatsoever.

3. Increase your water intake

Upping your daily water intake improves your body’s metabolism directly and greatly.  Water is rightly called the source of life and the more water given to your body the better your body can repair environmental damage, improve cells and of course speed up metabolism. Water is one of your metabolism’s greatest needs and the levels of it found in your body decrease with age. Give it water generously so that it could work at an optimal level. You will find yourself becoming slimmer, fitter and feeling more energetic.

4. Include protein in EVERY meal

When you include protein in your meals you are giving your body the strength and more importantly the resources needed to repair the damage the body is exposed to everyday.  This translates into a stronger body and a physique that stays younger longer. Also protein is what aids in the development of muscle so your muscles will not waste away when protein is being abundantly supplied. Protein must be included in every single meal to see improvements in fitness and body composition. Do this long enough and you will see a gradual shift to less body fat and more lean muscle.  So next time you decide to make an order during your lunch break opt for a chicken salad or ham sandwich.

5. Use supplements

If it is hard or unfeasible for you to increase protein intake on a regular basis or eat healthier food, then consider taking supplements. There are vitamins, sports drinks, and other aids to help one achieve full nutrition daily.  Vitamin B12 for example provides energy for the body allowing for more physical activity which in turn improves physique.  Collagen and muscle powders can supplement for inadequate protein intake.  There is such a wide variety of supplements available at any pharmacy near you that you can optimise your health very conveniently.

6. Cut out excess sugar when you can

We all love the over-the-top flavoured drinks at Starbucks and all their exciting seasonal additions but is it really worth sacrificing a fitter and healthier body?  Next time you are at a coffee shop ask for your sugar on the side or use an artificial sweetener instead. Getting sugar on the side allows you to put less into your cup than the barista would.  Also watch out for dessert offerings at restaurants and boredom-induced eating.  These unnecessary sugars wreak havoc on the body and long term are absolutely damaging to metabolism. 

7. Practice Yoga

The extreme stress of a pandemic added on to an already busy life can have the body at a constantly high stress level, affecting metabolism, health and mood. Adding yoga to your morning, evening, or even lunch break can be very refreshing and positive.  Yoga allows the body to stretch and recover. You can interact with online yoga instructors from the comfort of your own home. An amazing yoga network I came across is Breathe & Smile by instructor Christine Kamal. Christine is a very patient and experienced yoga instructor for the very beginner to the very advanced yoga student.  Her company’s Facebook page includes many techniques and routines to practice at home as well as private remote yoga sessions that are always set with your schedule in mind.  It has been a game-changer for me personally, improving my breathing, mood, stress level, and physical strength in a very short time frame. Yoga can be just the thing missing to reach your fitness goals .

8. Opt for lifting and resistance workouts

If you are very limited on time but still want to exercise, prioritize lifting weights above any other practice. The  exception here is if there is a particular workout you love and gets you excited.  If you have no preference then lifting weights is one of the more important exercises to do. This is because lifting weights improves your metabolism like nothing else. Lifting allows the body to burn more calories even while at rest. You can get to your weight loss goal quicker and get healthier in real time.

9. Park your car at the furthest spot

A very simple tip for getting in shape faster is to simply park your car in the further spot available at any parking lot you use. Adding those extra steps to your walk builds up over time. Without realising it you are getting healthier and without needing to go out of your way. We don’t all have the opportunity to go to the gym or take out time to excersize but we can fit more movement into our day through some basic changes in habits.

10. Decrease social media consumption

People often “kill time” on social media without realising how harmful that is. Social media is addicting like nothing else and easily consumes a person’s life and controls his or her behavior (you can read more about these dangers here). The 10 minutes you were planning to spend on Facebook or Instagram turn into hours. You are so engaged with the content that you forget to move around and remain frozen in place. There is a break in your usual swift pace and you tend to move a lot less than you do during just about any other activity.  There is also the issue of consuming snacks and other foods, – as this happens more often when in front of a screen in general – doubling the harm done to the body. So save the snacking for your next juicy movie pick. 

Do not put off for tomorrow what you can do today

Life is just too short to put off goals and delay happiness. There is no denying that a fit and in-shape you is incredibly important to your mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. We all want to remain as healthy as we can for as long as possible and fitness is the biggest piece of that. So do not neglect the necessary any longer. The setback that Covid-19 undoubtedly was can become a setup for better life habits.  We are here to thrive not to merely survive.

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