Regular exercise has been proven to enhance cognitive function, boost mood, and improve overall well-being and productivity.
Physical activity releases endorphins, "feel-good" chemicals in the brain that can reduce stress, alleviate anxiety, and improve overall mood. By engaging in regular exercise, you are better equipped to handle the demands and stresses of everyday life.
Moreover, exercise impacts cognitive function and mental performance positively. Studies have demonstrated that regular physical activity can improve attention, memory, and problem-solving skills. Incorporating exercise into your daily routine provides your brain with the necessary oxygen and nutrients to function optimally, leading to increased focus, creativity, and productivity.
When exercise is given priority in our daily routines, it reinforces its significance and ensures that it becomes a non-negotiable part of our lives. By consciously allocating time for exercise and treating it as an essential task, we are more likely to follow through and make it a consistent habit.
When exercise becomes a priority, we are more inclined to find creative ways to fit it into our busy schedules, whether waking up earlier, utilising lunch breaks, or setting aside dedicated time in the evenings. Taking that first step and prioritising exercise lays a solid foundation for a healthier, happier, and more fulfilling life.
Once that first hurdle of prioritising exercise has been crossed the following steps are more straightforward to execute.
Implementing simple strategies can maximise the benefits of exercise without sacrificing valuable time.
So, let's dive into some actionable examples to help us achieve our fitness goals while keeping up with our demanding lifestyles.
Perform three sets of each exercise with 10-12 repetitions per set.
Push-ups are a fantastic compound exercise primarily targeting the chest muscles, shoulders, and triceps. Begin in a high plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, engage your core, and lower your body towards the ground while keeping your elbows close to your sides. Push back up to the starting position. If traditional push-ups are too challenging, you can modify them with the following variations:
Start in a high plank position, but lower your knees to the ground instead of being on your toes. This modification decreases the load on your upper body and makes push-ups more accessible for beginners.
Elevated Hands Push-ups
Place your hands on an elevated surface, such as a bench or step, while keeping your feet on the ground in a high plank position. This modification reduces the amount of bodyweight you have to lift and is a great option for individuals working on building strength.
Remember to maintain proper form throughout the exercises to maximise their effectiveness. As with any exercise, it's always a good idea to listen to your body and adjust the difficulty level as needed.
You can check out more exercises on our YouTube channel.
Utilise Bands for On-the-Go Training
Resistance bands are a fantastic tool for optimising training for frequent travellers or those who spend considerable time away from the gym. They are lightweight, portable, and versatile, allowing you to perform various exercises to target different muscle groups.
Example Resistance Band Workout:
The Little But Often Strategy (Greasing the Groove)
Don't underestimate the power of small windows of exercise throughout your day. The little and often strategy involves breaking your workout into shorter, manageable chunks that you can do throughout the day. This approach allows you to fit exercise into even the busiest schedules.
LISS Vs HIIT
LISS (Low-Intensity Steady State) and HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) are two popular forms of cardio exercises that can be incorporated into a busy schedule. Here's a breakdown of each and how they can fit into a busy lifestyle:
LISS (Low-Intensity Steady State)
LISS involves performing cardio exercises at a low to moderate intensity for longer. This can include brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or using an elliptical machine. The goal is to maintain a consistent intensity level for an extended period, typically aiming for a target heart rate or perceived exertion level. This form of cardio is gentle on the joints and provides several benefits, including improved cardiovascular health and increased fat burning.
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)
HIIT involves alternating periods of high-intensity exercise with periods of active recovery or rest. This type of training typically consists of short bursts of intense exercise, such as sprints or high-intensity exercises like burpees or mountain climbers, followed by brief recovery periods. HIIT workouts are known for burning a significant amount of calories in a shorter time, boosting metabolism, and improving cardiovascular health.
Count Your Steps
Step count is an essential aspect of physical fitness that is often overlooked. Walking is a low-impact, efficient, and accessible exercise that can improve overall health and well-being.
The notion of 10,000 steps per day originated in Japan in the 1960s as a marketing campaign for a pedometer company. The campaign aimed to encourage people to be more active and walk more.
Walking between 8,000-12,000 steps a day has numerous benefits for physical and mental health. It can improve cardiovascular fitness, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Walking can also improve joint flexibility and reduce the risk of injury, making it a great, low-impact exercise option for people of all ages.
There are several simple and effective ways to increase your step count and reach the 10,000 steps per day goal.
Don't Drive: Walk
Consider walking or biking instead of driving for short distances. You can choose to walk to work, school, or nearby stores.
If the distance is longer, try using a bike or opting for public transportation and getting off a few stops earlier to add more steps to your day.
Take The Stairs
Instead of using elevators or escalators, take the stairs whenever possible. Climbing stairs is a great way to incorporate more steps into your day and work out your leg muscles.
Get Some Fresh Air
Instead of sitting at your desk or in the break room during lunch breaks or breaks throughout the day, take a walk. You can go for a brisk walk outdoors, explore nearby paths or parks, or even walk around the office building.
Instead of sitting in a conference room, suggest having walking meetings. Walking and talking can stimulate creativity and provide an opportunity for physical activity while discussing work matters. This can be particularly beneficial for one-on-one discussions or brainstorming sessions.
Throughout the day, look for opportunities to be more active. For instance, take the long route when walking to the restroom or water cooler, stretch your legs during TV commercial breaks by pacing around, or incorporate short walks into your daily routine by taking a stroll after meals.
Remember, the goal is to incorporate more movement into your daily routine. By making minor adjustments and being mindful of opportunities to be more active, you can gradually increase your step count and work towards achieving or even exceeding the 10,000 steps per day goal.
Follow The 80/20 Rule
To further optimise your body transformation journey within your busy schedule, use the 80/20 rule as your guide.
This principle can be applied to various aspects of life and, especially, personal fitness.
80% of your results can be achieved by focusing on the most effective exercises or training methods that target the largest muscle groups or movements.
Similarly, the principle can be applied in nutrition by ensuring that 80% of your diet consists of nutrient-dense foods while occasionally leaving room for more indulgent choices.
If you have a packed schedule, it is still possible to achieve efficient workouts. You can optimise your health and fitness without sacrificing time by embracing short but effective workouts and adopting the little and often strategy. Remember, finding balance and adapting these strategies to your circumstances is key to success.