Blogger Michelle from The Purple Pumpkin Blog struggles to fit a workout into her day – so she was the best person to try our time-saving fitness tips! Check out what she had to say.
1. Use household objects
Who needs a gym? Use household objects to accelerate your workout. Try doing squats over a dining room chair or tricep dips using a table as support.
“I made my own weights,” said Michelle. “I used four cans of beans from my kitchen cupboard and taped two together – I was left with two weights that were around 800g each.”
“I used them to do biceps curls, front raises, and standing flys which have helped to tone my arms, shoulders and chest. I really felt it working and the best thing is I didn’t spend any time or money buying special equipment or commuting to a gym.”
2. Three-by-three challenge
A full body workout you can do in 10 minutes: start with three minutes of stepping up and down on a bottom step, followed by three of squats and three of crunches or sit-ups.
A 30-second rest between each exercise will keep you going without letting your heart-rate drop too much, so it’s great for both cardio and toning.
3. Skip yourself fit
Keep a skipping rope by the sofa and use TV ad breaks as your cue to get moving. Skipping’s great for cardio, endurance and coordination – just roll up the rug first and make sure you’ve got enough space to avoid smashing your favourite lamp shade.
4. Use sticky notes to motivate you
Michelle used notes as quick reminders: “I wrote the short exercises I wanted to do each day on a sticky note and put them somewhere I could easily notice them.”
“After I did each activity – which was anything from a one-minute plank to dancing for three minutes to my favourite song – I threw the note away. It’s amazing how satisfying it felt! By the end of the day, all the notes were gone.”
5. Set workout alarms
“It's easy to sit for several hours and realise you’ve not moved, so I set alarms on my phone which went off during the day, reminding me to get up and do a quick three-minute workout. It certainly gave me the kick I needed,” said Michelle.
6. Exercise with your kids
Head into the garden or local park and have an energetic family outdoor game. As well as football, rounders and tag rugby, mix things up with hula-hoops, homemade obstacle courses and hopscotch.
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