Exercise for cheats

22 January 2015

Picture this. You've done a full day at work, you need to stop at Waitrose on the way home to pick up some food for the week, the dog needs walking, you've got laundry and other chores to do. Where is the time to get to the gym? I know, I've been guilty of saying that to myself too. Personally, I don't think there are enough hours in the day - not nearly enough. Just as I'm getting started, the day is nearly over and all the extra things I like to do are pushed to the side.

However, you can still add in exercise without making it to the gym. Exercise for cheats.

Me? I love to exercise. I've always loved sport since I was tiny and I love the feeling of going to the gym. However, sometimes I run out of time in the day - hell, I've been doing a week of 12 hour days..it's not really that practical sometimes to be dragging my heels to the gym after a long, long day at work. But, on these days, I know I have a number of ways to keep myself motivated and add in those 'cheat exercises' that really do count.

Deskercises: If you work in an office or sit at a desk, there are loads of ways to add in some exercise. One of my favourites are simple leg raises - pretty much no-one can see them and they work your legs really well. Whilst seated, just raise one (or both) of your legs, hold for 10 seconds and lower. Hold your abs tight, do this for a couple of reps and you'll be feeling the burn in no time. There are loads of great examples of deskercise on Pinterest and there will always be an exercise to suit everyone.

Stairs: We're all guilty of heading straight to the lift or escalator. Sounds silly, but taking the stairs is one of the most simple things we can do to raise the heart rate and work our legs. Even when you're heading home from work and you're on the underground, don't just stand on the escalator - walk it!

Pedometers: One of my favourite tools is the pedometer I have on my phone. I use an app called Pacer and it tracks every step you take, even when the app isn't open. Not only this, but it shows when you've walked during the day by time, calories burnt, the amount of time that you were active and how many kilometres you actually walked. It's amazing how quickly you can walk the suggested 10,000 steps. The photo below is a screenshot I took of an average day at work for me. Pretty good eh!

Advert squats: The average TV programme is an hour. Most channels show adverts every 15 minutes of so, and these adverts last 3 minutes. Instead of sitting on the sofa and moaning about watching the annoying Go Compare adverts over and over, stand up and start doing some squats or some push ups. If you do this in every advert break, you will have done between 10-15 minutes of toning. Easy peasy. And in one month, you could be seeing a massive difference in your booty.

Breakfast plank: I try to do this every morning. Even the most busiest of people have time to do a simple plank in the morning before their shower don't they? A lot of people have been doing the 'plank-a-day' challenge recently and it's a great way of challenging yourself. Set a timer on your phone, hit the floor and see how long you can hold your plank every day for a whole month. I bet you right now that you'll surprise yourself with how long you can hold your plank by the final day.

Simple - none of it involves a gym. Just changes in little things we do daily. I dare you to be an 'exercise cheat'...it's the small things we do every day that will make a huge difference in the long run!

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