With hectic modern lifestyles, it can be hard to muster the energy to get to the gym at the end of the day, especially as collapsing on the sofa seems so much more appealing.
But you needn’t slog away for hours at the gym, it turns out that just 30 minutes of exercise, five days per week could be hugely beneficial to our health.
While that might seem like a tall order, those 30 minutes don’t have to be sweating it out in the gym, it could include a walk or some gardening.
According to the World Health Organisation, in adults aged 18-64, physical activity includes leisure time physical activity, transportation , occupational, household chores, play, games, sports or planned exercise, in the context of daily, family, and community activities.
So here are 15 health and fitness tips to get your 30-minute exercise fitness from your busy schedule.
1. Say hello to H20
Whether you’re heading off to spin class, boot camp, or any other exercise, it’s always important to hydrate so you can stay energized and have your best workout. Electrolyte-loaded athletic drinks, though, can be a source of unnecessary calories, so “drinking water is usually fine until you’re exercising for more than one hour,” says Newgent. At that point, feel free to go for regular Gatorade-type drinks, which can give you a beneficial replenishment boost.
2. Buy comfy sneaks
You shouldn’t buy kicks that hurt, bottom line! “Your shoes should feel comfortable from the first step,” says Andrew Kastor. So shop in the evening—your feet swell during the day and stop in the late afternoon, so you want to shop when they’re at their biggest. Also make sure the sneaks are a little roomy—enough so that you can wiggle your toes, but no more than that.
3. Fun up your food
It’s easy to get in a diet rut, even if you’re loading up on flavorful fruits and veggies. The solution? Have plenty of spices, fresh herbs, and lemons at your cooking beck and call. “It’s amazing what a little dash of spice, sprinkle of herbs, pinch of lemon zest, or squirt of lime juice can do to liven up a dish—and your diet,” says Newgent. The best part: They contain almost no calories. Experiment with your dinner, tonight!
4. Fuel for fitness
Planning on picking up the pace tomorrow? Eat food that will help keep you going strong. For breakfast, opt for a high-carbohydrate meal—one similar to what you’ll be eating on race day, so you can find out what foods digest best (for you!). Try a whole-grain English muffin or a bagel with peanut butter or a low-fat cream cheese. Then, have a well-rounded meal post-workout to help with recovery. Andrew Kastor’s favorite? One to two slices French toast with a side of fruit.
5. Ditch your working lunch
Munching on your lunch while at the computer could lead to mindless grazing, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. People who ate their midday meals while playing a computer game ended up eating more cookies 30 minutes later than those who hadn’t been gaming. So carve out 20 minutes a day, and eat in your conference room . Your whittled waistline with thank you.
6. Make The Most Of Your Commute
Running or cycling to work is an easy way to squeeze a work out into a busy schedule – and it’s also good for the environment. It’s also a great way to boost your mood, especially when the sun is shining.
If it isn’t feasible for you to run or walk to work, but how about getting off the train a stop early or parking further away than usual?
7. Reclaim Your Lunch Break
No more eating lunch at your desk, grab your trainers and make the most of those sacred 60 minutes.
Whether it’s a jog around the local park or encouraging your office to introduce lunch time classes, make sure you make that lunch break count.
What’s more, many London-based gyms are introducing short lunch-time classes to help fit in with your schedule. See here for more info.
8. Get A Workout Buddy
Not only is it nice to have someone to chat to and share fitness goals with, but it’s harder to cancel when someone else is counting on you.
If that hasn’t convinced you, here are 15 reasons you need a workout buddy in 2017.
9. Workout At Home
You needn’t spend hours slogging away in the gym or spend a fortune on expensive equipment.
Try a HIIT or body weight circuit at home to work up a sweat. Not sure what to do? Check out YouTube or follower personal trainers like Alice Liveing for some easy-to-follow workouts.
If you want to push that little bit harder, get yourself some lightweight dumbbells or resistance band to feel the burn.
10. Go On An Exercise Date
If you’ve got a date night planned this week, skip dinner and a movie in favour of something that gets you off your rears.
It doesn’t have to be a trip to the gym or a jog — it can be anything active you like doing together.
11. Go For A Brisk Walk
kupicoo via Getty Images
Exercising doesn’t necessarily mean 20 burpees. Why not rab your trainers and hit the local park after work?
A recent study revealed that just hour of walking after work could cancel out the negative effect of sitting at a desk all day.
12. Play Fetch
Man’s best friend doubles up as man’s best workout buddy. So spend a little time going on an extra long walk or playing fetch with your pooch for 30 minutes.
And if you don’t have a dog – hook up with a dog owner pal or use BorrowMyDoggy to hook up with a local pooch.
13. Hit The Pool
You don’t have to be Michael Phelps to get a water workout.
It’s a great full body workout and way to keep joints mobilised. It’s pretty inexpensive and if you’re lucky, you could even splash around in the local lido (weather dependent).
And next time you find yourself poolside on holiday, make sure you don’t just spend a fortnight on a lilo, OK?
14. Join A Sports Team
Competition, camaraderie, commitment: all great reasons to get involved in a sports team.
It needn’t be serious – join a local league or rent a pitch for a game five-a-side with your mates.
Keen to get started? Check out Be Inspired, a comprehensive site where people can look up sports they might be interested in starting, then find a club in their local area. Be Inspired is run by Sport England and UK Sport and is funded by National Lottery money.
15. Have Fun
Embrace your inner child with the playground-inspired games at Rabble. Exercises include ultimate frisbee, British Bulldog, dodgeball and lots of laughing.
Here Is 21 Best Fitness Equipment For Your Home Gym
We’ve picked 30 must have collected amazing home fitness equipment for various types of workouts.
1. Virtual Fighting Fitness Game
Customer Review : The BAS is very versatile,adjustable, and a whole lot of fun! I have both a water base, and a hanging heavy bag, but stopped using them due to soreness, and limitations of both. Get it from Amazon for $6995
2. Outdoor Elliptical Bike
Customer Review : I started running in the 70’s and ran Track in college and later for the Santa Monica Track Club. I trained for the Olympics from 1970-84 and had coaches that had us run upward of 100 miles a week. I am not a small guy. My racing weight was 175 and that is a lot for one’s knees. So I ended up with little or no meniscus in the knees. Get it from Amazon for $2499
3. Treadmill Workstation
Customer Review : I read all of the reviews and looked at a lot of different treadmill desks before buying this one. I was quite nervous that the desk was going to be too tall for me because I am only about 5’5″, but it works perfect! My arms rest perfectly on the desk to be able to type comfortably while walking. I work from home so this is hands-down one of the best purchases I have ever made! I am able to get in faster walks when I am attending online meetings and then keep a slow pace when I am needing to write or type. Get it from Amazon for $671.99
4. Aquatic Treadmill
Customer Review : With back and knee surgeries, I have been unable to exercise for a long time. Recently we purchased a pool and the Aquabilt A-2000. It was a great purchase. Now I can work on my health with low impact exercising. Definitely would recommend it. Get it from Amazon for $1295
5. Water Rowing Exercise Machine
Customer Review : This is exactly what was promised, only it is even better. The construction is first class. The design is so realistic feeling and like nothing else. One review said it would be hard to put together if one doesn’t watch a video first. I didn’t find any video necessary. The parts were simple and instructions were very straight forward. Get it from Amazon for $1160
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6. Indoor Virtual Bike Trainer
Customer Review : I love this trainer! I do almost all of my training indoors and this trainer rocks. It was easy to setup and can be controlled either by the app or your power meter if you have one either way it’s a great workout every time. I use it with Trainer Road and can already feel myself getting stronger doing one of TR’s structured workouts. It’s pretty accurate as far as the power readings coming within a few watts of my power meter. Get it from Amazon
7. Rock Climbing Wall Panels
Customer Review : I love this trainer! I do almost all of my training indoors and this trainer rocks. It was easy to setup and can be controlled either by the app or your power meter if you have one either way it’s a great workout every time. Get it from Amazon
8. Smart Eyewear For Athletes
Customer Review : Let me preface this review with a bit of history and background. I’m a professional cycling coach, but my focus is almost entirely on recreational cyclists, and finding ways to help them use wattage metrics, to enhance both their training, and their outside rides. I’ve been coaching with wattage since 1995, and have been involved in several power meters, most of which have failed to meet my standards of “Robust and Seamless”. Remember those words, because after a month with the Recon Jet, I am mightily impressed. Get it from Amazon for $216.26
9. Treadmill Desk
Customer Review : I purchased my TrekDesk about 6 months ago but it sat in it’s box for a few months before I got around to pairing it with the Confidence Power Plus Motorized Electric Treadmill (also bought from Amazon). I was pretty skeptical at first – especially after reviewing the most negative review video. Get it from Amazon for $549.99
10. Nike Fuel Band
Customer Review : The Fuelband succeeds in its primary purpose: to get you moving by providing you with a goal to chase through daily physical activity. Fuel points are essentially just a measure of how much you move. If you work in an office environment, and want to make sure you are getting a minimal level of activity on a daily basis, the fuel points are a useful metric to know how much work you need to put in before you retire for the evening. It encourages you to take the stairs instead of an elevator, to park father away from your destination, to get out of your seat and move periodically throughout the day. Get it from Amazon for $59.95
11. Balance Board
Customer Review : Our physical therapy office specializes in balance training, so this item is excellent for us. However, we use it with a harness and an overhead fixed point hook, so no one can fall. The information included with this item had some hilarious photos of people that looked photoshopped…for example, this is so unstable that to see a photo of a room full of people sitting on it in the lotus pose was really unreasonable. Get it from Amazon for $289
12. Aerial Yoga Hammock
Customer Review : Love it. I have the deluxe flying hammock. It came fully ready to hang with instructions to hang it and to wash it. It also came with a DVD with an hour of aerial yoga. Get it from Amazon for $225
13. Six Pack Abs Training Gear
Customer Review : After one month of using it, it broke down. As far as I remember, I only used it about 10 time and suddenly it stopped providing any electric pulse. I tried to reach out to the seller to return the product, they indicated that I can’t given that one month had passed. They can only fix it, if I ship it back to them in Japan. The challenge is that you can rarely find someone that can fix these type of machines around. Get it from Amazon for $210
14. Brainwave Fitness Headband
Customer Review : This is the next tech step in having empirical feedback of your brain waves. All earlier devices were variations on the 1930s “lie detector” machines measuring galvanic (sweat), heart rate and respiration. This device is actually measuring brain waves and SHOULD be a better indicator of what contemplative state you are in. Get it from Amazon for $249.99
15. Artificial Intelligence Personal Trainer
Customer Review : I consider myself a competitive runner, which is why I was a little hesitant when first purchasing Vi. I wasn’t sure if I’d necessarily benefit from this product or if it was smart enough for non-beginners. However, it was time for bluetooth headphones and I’m a sucker for runner apps, headphones and gear..which is why I decided to give this product a shot. Not to mention that as an active runner within the running community, I’ve being constantly seeing ads and articles about this product when searching for headphones for running. Get it from Amazon for $249.99
16. Full Body Resistance Training Suit
Customer Review : I received my mass suit after I saw the product on Sweat Inc. Jillian Michaels is the worst, she doesnt deserve a show. This suit is very well made and extremely comfortable to wear. The suit comes with many different bands and connectors. I enjoy mma and boxing so this is a great suit for that. Wearing this suit puts resistance on all the right places and forces me to engage my core to keep proper form. I feel that wearing the mass suit during exercise increases my calorie burn by 2-3 times. I have never sweat so much working out. Even wearing it while lifting weights this works me harder. Get it from Amazon for $219
17. Kettlebell Dumbbell Clamp
Customer Review : I’ll admit I considered the other 2 cheaper Chinese-made alternative. What changed my mind was the knowing the overall reliability and not having to deal with a possible return or refund. My main exercise is going to be kettle bell swings. I had bought the Chinese-made iron plate 200 lb dumbells, so without accumulating more things I decided to get this. Get it from Amazon for $77
18. Portable Body Weight Training Device
Customer Review : I received a pair of Electric Blue monkii bars for Christmas from my fiancée. I never knew how liberating a simple set of workout tools could be! I’m a former gym rat who’s gained some weight since we had our daughter about 2 years ago. I know some people can do it but, with having to juggle work, school, a side business, and spending equality time with family, it doesn’t leave a whole lot of time or desire to drive over to the gym. Get it from Amazon for $149
19. Activity And Sleep Tracking Watch
Customer Review : LOVE this tracker thus far! Very comfortable to wear, looks stylish and I have received many compliments. I also like to watch the tracker function go from zero to 100, and start over! Get it from Amazon for $169.95
20. Heart Rate Monitor Wristband
Customer Review : Full disclosure, I ordered the Fitbit Charge HR only after I gave up on Jawbone fulfilling my preorder for the Up3 and once I realized the Fitbit Surge was like having a VCR strapped to your wrist. Further complicating my decision was the reviews that were all over the place on Amazon. Either people loved it or they thought it was the biggest piece of crap ever. I am writing this review to try and offer a realistic perspective for those looking to buy the Fitbit Charge HR. Get it from Amazon for $102.28
21. Yoga Learning Mat
Customer Review : Great mat and great workout, I bought 2. Good for the home to practice and helps me improve on my own practice. I gave the other away to a beginner and their family is having fun making moves Get it from Amazon for $119.95