How Do You Fit Exercise Time in Your Daily Activities?

Hey all,

Just wanting to hear some ideas & advices on how people are fitting exercise in their daily activities. I've been generally on and off exercising but sadly overall haven't been keeping an active lifestyle, which I hope to change. My aim is to just be active and if all goes well hope to drop 10 kgs by end of this year.

Some more of my background.. I work 9-10 hours a day, commuting 25kms each way, with 2 kids. I used to try gym before work, but apart from not able to keep the habit, these days I rather start work early so I can be home early. But after work, I tend to get tired and just couldn't be bothered exercising esp with 2 kids keeping me busy at home still. Plus I'm just not as motivated as others are.

Interested in the idea of nipping out during work hours to a gym nearby for a quick exercise. But would like to hear some advices from trusty people of OzB. TIA!

Comments

  • +39 votes

    Take the stairs instead of elevators and escalators.

    •  

      Thanks this is probably the most simple thing I could start doing

    • +13 votes

      Good suggestion. It really is about lifestyle changes and not necessarily about spending money at a gym.

      • Take the stairs in between work levels (if possible)
      • Walk to the bustop one stop away
      • Walk during lunch break - or jog?
      • Lots more water
      • Less carbs
      • +5 votes

        Tried taking the stairs in my first job in an office tower…..had to swallow my pride and call someone to let me out (they were secure floors) or walk down 28 levels to the ground to get out :P
        Went with option 1 in the end.

        •  

          With this story in mind it might be a good idea if you are going to try using the stairs as exercise you start at the top of the stairs and go down first. Might be easier on your body that going up, well it is for me anyway. Also definitely don;t do 28 floors for a first attempt…

    • +5 votes

      ^This. Also go shopping by foot both ways (pick a long path when going to the store).
      Park (or get off early / late) 20 minutes away from work so you can walk to and from.
      Have a simple set of exercises to do in front of the TV.
      If you take the bus or train sit up and don't lean on the seat. Do some butt squeezes too.

    • +9 votes

      Also take public transport if you can. I've honestly lost weight just running to make the train / bus between station on and offloading points. Redfern station especially is probably the single biggest reason I make my exercise goal for the day!

    •  

      Perfect solution! Just make sure you DO NOT use the stairs coming down. Use the stairs to go up then the lift to come down and repeat.

  • +16 votes

    If you get your diet right you don't necessarily need to exercise to lose weight. Get out on the weekend with activities you might enjoy, e.g. with the kids on bikes or kicking the footy… and try and get what you can in during the week, but most of all focus on eating better/drinking less etc.

    • +2 votes

      Yeah I've been eating pretty good and actually has lost weight by eating right. But the problem is I would hit a wall and to shed further I need exercise, so its inevitable. Plus overall I just want to be an active person.

      • +9 votes

        fasting :D

      •  

        if you hit a wall, diet more. I lost 10kg in 2 months with diet and light activity (20 minutes walk after lunch, and to and from train station instead of bus etc). never broke a sweat

        I only hit a wall when I moved and my good habits were interrupted. But my friend has been doing the same thing, but able to keep doing it longer, and also chose to do regular gym for more activity, and lost about 18kg in 3 months

        the diet is basically, eat less calories. easiest way is cut carbs and meat, raise qty of low cal veges. If you only eat things like tomatoes, it's almost impossible to get enough calories in a day, so you create meals that use heaps of veges as filler

        I was basically making sandwiches/burgers with very thin bread and meat, piled with salad. and pizza with thin crust, few slices of ham and sprinkle of cheese, and a mountain of capsicum, onion and mushroom. delicious weight loss

        I think once you get the habit and are calorie deficient for a while, your body starts to burn away fat at a faster rate. so it becomes easy with rapid results.

    • +6 votes

      Muscle retention is extremely important. While losing weight is the goal you don't want to lose too much muscle while doing it which is exactly what will happen if you diet.

      I would strongly recommend some sort of lifting (body or weight). Even 10 mins a day will go a long way to a healthy life style.

      Maybe start with push-ups and then take it from there.

      High Intensity Interval training (HIIT) is also fantastic when it comes to losing weight and a good workout.

      Keep you protein levels high if possible as that helps with muscle retention and recovery.

  • +1 vote

    You live a bit further away from work than I do, but I run to or from work. My incentive is if I run home, I get home quicker than normal.
    You could run as far as you can, and then get public transport the rest of the way?

  • +24 votes

    Start cycling to and from work. If you think 25kms each way is too far, only cycle one way each day and public transport the return journey.

    • +3 votes

      or use a E-bike

    • +7 votes

      Or just ride to a closer train station (assumes commuting by train).

      •  

        Yeah this was one of my first consideration. Using E Bike as well to help me started. But roads between my house and train station is quite dangerous with cars driving over 80kmh on a single lane road. Was thinking of driving with the bike to the train station, but I worry the hassle might turn me off quickly.

        Though lately I've been driving to work (leaving before 6am/4pm to avoid traffic) as it saves me up to 1 hr on commuting time total. Maybe I could park further and walk or ride from there…. I'll think about this for sure

    • +1 vote

      This. 25km is perfect

  • +5 votes

    Before work is great, especially if your trying to shed the kilos. Nothing better than being at your desk at 8am (forgive me if I have misinterpreted "early"), knowing that you have had an intense 45 minute workout on an empty stomach.

    •  

      I know the good feeling of having exercise first thing in the morning. I start at 6am at work. Back then I showered in the gym before heading in to work. But preparing the work attire every night really gets me. So I'm thinking to nip out during work, change to shirts and pants, quick exercise, back to work attire. Probably have deodorant ready try not to smell as bad in the office…….

  • +14 votes

    I cycle to work. Commute and exercise in one.

    Saves me $50 per week fuel and $20 in road toll. $280 a month, $3,360 a year + no gym membership.

    for longer distances and hilly areas, look at a e-bike.

    • +1 vote

      Yeah I reckon cycle to work is the most cost effective and time effective as you mentioned. I'm just not sure if it will suit me, there are things to consider. But I will definitely consider it.

      I used to try riding when I used to live only like 8 kms from work. Bought cheap and nasty bike from eBay. Didn't put the wheel on properly so the wheel keeps touching the brake. I think I stopped 3 times on my way to work and almost died when I got to work. Yeah wasn't a great experience.. though I shouldn't give up too quickly then

      • +1 vote

        Commuting by bike or run is by far the cheapest and easiest. To a bike shop and find out what size bike you need and what type bike you need. Try out a few bikes new and second hand and buy the bike you best like to ride. Put the money you save into bike gear.
        I use to ride 33km to work each way. It was great. I only ride 6km each way now so I have to do other exercise as well.

      • +2 votes

        Need to take into consideration the safety aspect. If you don't have dedicated bike lanes all the way then chance of death or serious injury from cars.

        •  

          I feel safer on my bike than my car.
          Car in point. I had a truck lose control down a hill and land on my car while waiting at red lights. :0 I somehow manage to walk out. Still waiting for insurance to pay out after 5 years when thou it was all caught on ctv and dashcam :(

  • +7 votes

    cut sugars & carbs by checking every single drinks / food you eat

    sleep more

  • +16 votes

    Cycle to work. 25km is about an hour (depending on hills, your bike) and can be comparable in commute time to taking a bus or train. This is based off my previous 16km transit to work which took 40-45mins. Riding reduces stress too.

    Intermittent fasting. Have 16 hours between eating dinner and eating lunch the next day. Drink water if you get hungry. After 3 days you'll be used to it.

    While sitting at a desk all day, i put my feet shoulder width apart and bounce my legs up and down off my toes. Imagine you have step counter in your sock and you are trying to cheat steps. Tense your mid section while you do this. You cant make any noise while doing this, so you concentrate on the movement. It should hurt in your midsection after doing this for a while. If you can do it for an hour straight, its a good start. Multitasking.

    Dont sit down to watch TV at home. Jog on the spot.

    No alcohol or sugar.

    Give yourself a month to see the progress. Everyday. It will take you at least 6 months. Dont think of it as losing weight, think of it as gaining health and longevity habits.

    • +3 votes

      Man. Such good advices. Thanks for taking your time to share this. The 16 hours fast is something I thought of but never really look into closely. Will definitely start looking into this now

      I do get a fancy stand/sit desk at work. I'll try your tips to keep myself active while working or when im at home.

      • +4 votes

        +1 on Intermittent Fasting, Have been doing it for years and beyond management of weight, it has had so many other positive affects.

        -More time to myself as I don't need to prepare breakfast

        -Don't feel hungry in the morning

        -Anecdotally feel as if my concentration levels and overall alertness in the morning has improved

        •  

          Gives you the necessary time to digest, so your digestive system is not constantly full and working. This leads to the better concentration and energy levels.
          Saves time with breakfast and overall meal planning.

          •  

            @DarthAntz: Any link or more tips about the 16 hours fast? How do you make sure you eat enough within the 8 hours eating time?

            • +3 votes

              @John: and @montorola, your body adjusts after 3-4 days to your new habit, so its difficult at first. Drink water to fill your stomach to get over the hunger at 10am. That hungry feeling lasts for about 30 minutes anyway, then you're through.
              You also have to eat healthy. If you intermittent fast and then throw down bad combinations of food or chips and lollies you're going to regret it. Improving digestion is a benefit of fasting like this, so make sure you are digesting good foods!
              Your metabolism will affect this, and for the food you eat. You need to give yourself 3 days to get used to it, so it is a challenge to begin with.
              I still eat the 5 main vegetables (cheapest, ozbargain approved) carrots, onion, mushrooms, green, and broccoli. In season is the best. Usually with rice. I'll eat a portion of meat twice a week.
              Eat until you are 80% full. And when you've finished your meal, stop eating. No snacks after. That's the sugar cravings encouraging you to eat.
              Drink water to fill up. Have a small spoon of honey to satisfy the sugar cravings if you have them.
              Smaller meals x5 is fine. We're all different, find what works for you. My opinion is based off 6 months of doing this to reach my goals (85kg to 75kg).

              •  

                @DarthAntz: THanks I think this is doable for me. Lately I've been eating dinner before 6pm (vegs and meat). And sometimes I would drag out breakfast until 8am (yoghurts & oats). Fruits in between (2-3 pieces a day). So I'm already in the 8 hours windows anyway and not terribly bad food either. The rest I just have to resist on snacking.. and top up my water intake.

                I'll definitely make this my first step. Thanks for sharing!

                EDIT: Wait…. maths is not working. I'm still in 10 hours window! Will have to drag that breakfast a bit longer then!

              • +1 vote

                @DarthAntz: Just to jump on this discussion. It's been well researched that intermittent fasting may only be beneficial due to an overall cutting of calories (i.e. you're more likely to eat less in a day if you have a smaller eating window). There's no other benefit to it.

                So if someone wants to lose weight all they have to do is eat less food. If intermittent fasting helps someone do that then that's great, but if you don't want to do that than all you have to do is eat better (smaller portions, less snacks, more veggies, etc.)

                • +4 votes

                  @greater mimic: One benefit I've got out of it is discipline. It's difficult to not eat, and stay hungry. Our society is built around eating. If I can go a week of intermittent fasting, I can definitely stick to healthy habits that further support weight loss and maintaining health.

                  Then there is the financial benefit of eating one less meal. This is ozbargain ;)

                • +2 votes

                  @greater mimic: Extending your fasting to 16hrs helps with delaying insulin spikes with meals.. semi starvation state…hence assisting in the burning of fat for energy.

            • +1 vote

              @John: Michael Moseley Fast 800 is $20 at Kmart, and has the science and the explanations, recipes, etc.

          •  

            @DarthAntz: Ok so apart from the 16h rest period for your stomach, how do you eat in the 8 hour window? Do you have 3 big meals or do you have like 5x smaller meals?

            Reason being is I always feel tired and lethargic after a big meal so I think for me the best thing would be to keep constantly eating smaller meals… do you see anything detrimental in that? (assuming I stick to eating in the 8hr window)

            • +2 votes

              @montorola: A well rewarded lunch at noon, and then dinner between 6-7pm. Dinner is bigger than lunch. Just two meals. Often I'll make a big dinner, set some of it for lunch the next day and serve the rest to eat immediately.

            • +1 vote

              @montorola: Eat til u r satiated.. not necessary large or small meals. But also eat healthy.. balanced diet of good fats and lean protein.

      •  

        I contemplated getting one of those in place treader machines for my standup desk but left before doing any actual research on them.

        Could be a convenient way to multitask?

      • +1 vote

        I love that you have asked for advice and taking it on board without coming up with too many excuses. Good luck.

    • +1 vote

      The harder part of intermittent fasting for me, is not the fast. It's squeezing your whole day's calorie requirement within 4-6 hours. For long term fat loss, you cant be starving or semi starving yourself. I usually make my daily calorie deficit moderate. Usually 20% off my TDEE, which is about 2400kcal/day. 2400 is not that much, but still, eating a whole days food in a few hours is very uncomfortable.

      The law of thermodynamics tells you if you maintain that calorie deficit, you are gonna lose weight no matter what. So if you try fasting and it's not for you, dont stress much, e.g if you are trying to build muscle, squeezing 3000kcal+ calories within a few hours while eating clean is absolutely brutal.

    • +1 vote

      No alcohol or sugar? Why bother trying to get healthy, you are already dead without these.

  •  

    8.5hrs sleep.

    Gym before work. Home gym. I just do two sets of Oly snatches with fairly light weights.

    Gym after work. Power lifting for an hour.

    Paddle a kayak out and catch food on weekends.

  •  

    Turn the TV off for a start.

    •  

      I hardly watch the TV these days. I only really watch The Chase Australia and Friends……. the rest, its channel 22 for the kids haha

      •  

        How about getting a dog that needs to be walked everyday? Give the kids a bit of responsibility too. Apparently.

  • +13 votes

    Smoke meth, raises your heart rate and metabolism and it's also an appetite suppressant.

  •  

    You can get fit watching TV and exercising during ad breaks. It's pretty hard to start a diet and get fitter at the same time and the reason many people quit. Try to get fitter first.

  • +4 votes

    Similar circumstances to you… 25km commute and busy family life. I tried riding to work and that but it just didn't work with school pickup and drop off etc.

    So I invested in a home gym. Various dumb bells, flat bench and a few other bits and you can do a lot of exercises. Can be got cheap used off gumtree too.

    I get up an hour early (best time to exercise too, sets you up well for the day). I exercise from 530 to 630 by which time the family is up and the day starts.

    I just felt going to and from a gym adds too much time to exercise routine and just means you don't do it. This way I just wake up, walk down to my exercise area and start.

    Only works if you have a car sized spaced free of course.

  • +8 votes

    You make it like brushing your teeth. You have to do it, it's just something you do not skip.

    Now maybe something else has to go to fit it in but you can't skip it.

  •  

    Lunch hour = Jogging time with headphones.
    Hope your office has a shower room.
    Block out your calendar and don't let colleagues rob this time from you.

  • +11 votes

    Lunge walk everywhere.

  • +7 votes

    Bodyweight is gained or lost in the kitchen, not the gym. Anyone who tells you different is trying to sell you a gym membership. Or loves the gym. Gym alone will not compensate for poor diet.

    That said, I train 3 lunches a week for an hour total desk to desk, split Monday Chest/Wednesday Back and Shoulders/Friday Legs. Compound moves for maximum return, no one needs to spot focus unless you're there for show.

    If you don't make your own lunch, start. Mix simple salad, a sandwich for bars with actual chicken or tuna (not sliced processed rubbish), fruit nuts and yoghurt. Cheat (don't blow up!) 1 day a week to keep it manageable. Don't visit the kitchen cupboard after 8pm! And make eating a 'training' session, rather than a run then a bag of chips! 10kg's if you're 100kg is doable comfortably in 8 months without significant effort.

    Good luck.

    Alternative - Cycle to work twice a week, 4 x 25k = 100k's will shed body mass if energy intake remains static!

  •  

    Change how you travel to/from work.
    e.g. If you catch public transport then get on/off at the next/previous stop and walk the extra distance.
    If you drive then park a set distance from work and walk the extra distance.
    Go for a walk at lunch time.
    The more you walk the fitter you'll become and walking 5-10k will not be tiring.

  • +2 votes

    How Do You Fit Exercise Time in Your Daily Activities?

    Another way of looking at it is How Do You Fit Movement Time in Your Daily Activities?

    Walk as much as you can - e.g. walk to the shop and carry the bags home. If you can get away from the kids for 5 minutes, get down and do some push ups and sit ups. Leave a chin up bar on a doorway and do some when you go past.

    When you walk with the family, climb, swing off a tree, etc. Go to the playground with the kids and get on the equipment with them.

    Also, don't outsource physical work like mowing the lawn.

  • +1 vote

    I don't fit it in. My life fits around it.

  •  

    It's already been said, but diet us the key to losing weight. Exercise keeps you fit, slows down your aging and fights off disease, so go for it. I am very time poor, so I have to get out of bed one hour earlier to do my exercise, 6 days a week.
    I also have apps on my phone, (runtastic), for pushups, squats, six pack and leg trainer. There are others available.
    I also have the 'ADF Active' app on my mobile phone which is very useful if you want to become really fit.
    I also have a fit watch (Garmin Fenix) which monitors all my vitals and provides a record of all my training.
    My weighing scales integrate with the app and I also use 'My Fitness Pal' app to record my food and training to see how they will affect my weight.
    Keeping a record is a good way to keep motivated as you can see your progress.

    Here's some more if you want it.
    https://www.youtube.com/user/TheMiamiTrainer

  •  

    During playtime with your kids.

    Get them to sit on your back when you do push ups or carry them with squads.

    Difficulty level increase with your heavier kid lol.

  • +3 votes

    After public transport started stuffing me around 12 years ago I bought a bike and started commuting 20km each way every day. I lost 20kg in under 3 months. My commute gradually got faster to the point that it's faster than any other mode of transport excluding motorbikes.

  •  

    Just adding to all the other responses that have said "ebike". Dillenger currently has their 500w kit (to add to an existing bike) for $999, which I can recommend

  • +1 vote

    For those living in NSW, maybe they could try
    https://www.gethealthynsw.com.au/ although the efficiency of the program depends on your input and who you will be talking to

  • +2 votes

    If you sit all day, I found this is easy and helps a lot.

    Pick a point in your house that you go past multiple times a day - a doorway is an easy choice. Every time you go through it, do 2, 5, 10 or whatever bodyweight squats. It takes 5-25 seconds at most each time, so it barely impacts whatever task you were heading for. By the end of the day, you've done 20, 50, 100+ squats.

    Want to up your game a lot more. Install one of those removable, over-the-door pull-up bars. Now do a few pull-ups every time you pass. If you don't feel warmed up enough, or can't do a single pull-up, try negatives instead. Hold the bar, jump up, lower yourself as slow as you can. Add 10, 20, 30+ pull-ups a day and you'll definitely notice it.

  • +1 vote

    Start going to bed an hour earlier, then get up an hour early and do your fitness first thing, even if it's just a 25min run around the suburb or one of those 30min instructional Pilates videos off Youtube.

  •  

    I usually hit the gym after work (signed up to one nearby) and then head home after. I've also tried gyming with my lunch hours which may work for you if your gym is nearby.

    Not sure the age of your kids but perhaps you can play some sports with them at the park on the weekends like basketball.

  •  

    Going to get straight to the point.

    I work 14 hours a day.

    Most importantly, control your calorific intake. Expect to experience burn-out and possibly be hospitalised.

    Move closer to your workplace, well worth it.

    If you are an employee, think about whether you are getting value for your time. If you have a good work ethic, maybe you'll be better off with your own business.

    I allow areas in my business for people to walk around to get their creative juices going. I get my best ideas whilst pacing back and forth in the office. This is part of my daily pseudo-exercise regime.

  • +1 vote

    I had the same issue. was riding to work (25kms one way) once a week and gym (in my garage) for 45 mins

    I bought an ebike 2 weeks ago and have ridden every day (best time I got was 50mins door to door!) public transport was over an hour so its a win win and actually a MASSIVE time saver as I get to do some cardio at the same time
    still doing 3-4 times a week in the garage gym, but the best bit is I get to eat like a horse and have still lost weight!

  • -1 vote

    Due to a current injuries I recently sustained, I'm very limited in the exercises I can safely do.

    But I just wanted to mention that what you or even I will settle for (a healthy BMI) would be a literal nightmare for a person that does regular resistance training. Without variation, resistance or hormonal triggers (e.g. testosterone, HGH), the average male won't go from flabby to "fit" in the classical aesthetic sense (high skeletal muscle overall with low body fat). So parking your car a kilometre from work can't be compared to a full body resistance training protocol.

    I'm not going to preach about what's "healthier" by name-dropping some studies on sarcopenic obesity (skinny fat syndrome), general physical activity or the benecial/detrimental effects of certain diets/fasting. But there aren't many dads that look like they go to F45 from taking 2 flights of stairs to the office every morning. Even though it could be great for your circulatory system/legs/BMI/mind/overall health, regardless.

    Every dad with a pot belly in his 40s, while patting said pot belly: "If only I could get rid of this".

  •  

    you just answered your own question

    " I tend to get tired and just couldn't be bothered exercising esp with 2 kids keeping me busy at home still. Plus I'm just not as motivated as others are."

    Can't be bothered? Not motivated?

    You aren't going to get anywhere with that mindset

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