Let’s face it, as the days get shorter and the weather worsens, the thought of going for a run outside or getting home late after a post-work gym session is less than appealing. Which is why we’re firm believers that finding quick and easy ways to sneak exercise into our day means we’re more likely to stick to them. Enter micro exercising. A quick 15 minutes in the morning, 20 minutes at lunchtime and 10 minutes in the evening and by 7pm you’ve racked up a full 45 minutes of exercise, without even stepping foot in a gym.
Here are our 4 smart and speedy micro exercises to introduce into your daily routine this Autumn.
Resistance bands are the ultimate smart piece of workout kit. Light, simple and fuss-free, pop one into your bag and you can use it from anywhere – be it in the gym, your hotel room or in your lounge. There are heaps of exercises that focus on building glute and hip strength while toning the muscles. We love these 20 resistance band exercises to strengthen your entire body by SELF.
You don’t have to head to a yoga class to get your practice in. Luckily, yoga can be practised from anywhere. Weaving in a short 15 minute flow will help to increase circulation, work up a sweat, tone muscles you didn’t know existed, and calm your mind. The perfect practice for the time-short, there are hundreds of sequences you can pick from that focus on building strength and conditioning different areas of the body. We love this 15 minute feel good flow by Do You Yoga.
Plank it out
The plank is one of the best exercises for developing upper body and core strength best of all, you don’t need any equipment. Try doing them either as soon as you get out of bed in the morning, or before you go to sleep. Hold a plank for 1 minute, keeping your lower belly drawing in and your shoulders in protraction – push through your hands and almost round your upper back. Repeat, on your front, your sides and back again on your front. If 1 minute is too long, build up from 30 secs, you’ll really feel the effects on your core.
A strong core = fewer back and mobility issues. Core muscles work together to produce maximum stability in the abdominal and lumbar (lower) back region, as well as coordinate the movement of the arms, legs, and spin.
Step it up
Ramping up your total steps per day means less time needed at the gym – win win. Easy tips include replacing lifts and escalators with stairs. If you usually take the tube to work, consider getting off a stop or two before and better yet if you could easily walk it in under 30 minutes, then it’s time to don your trainers and get those steps in. If you don’t already have a Fitbit, there are plenty of apps you can use to keep track, we love the simplicity of iPhone’s Health app.