To gym or not to gym?

Many people have said to me ‘I’m so busy, I don’t have time to exercise and go to the gym’ – what a crock of baloney! I think if you really want to exercise (and not everyone does) there is always time, it’s a question of making time for it.

Even when your working life resembles this:

You can still fit in this:

For me, I’ve found that going to the gym or trying to exercise in the evening just doesn’t work – the moment I stop, I just don’t want to do anything at all, and I’d have to get up at 5am to fit it in in the mornings, so lunch time is ideal. When I do my weekly shop, I buy about 3 weeks worth of tins of soup/baked beans, packets of coucous or rice, tins of tuna, salmon – basically healthy food that takes less than 5 mins to heat up in the microwave at work. I workout for approx 30-45 mins/day, have a quick shower (keep my hair dry) and then heat up my lunch.

I’ve got into such a routine now that it’s become a welcome break in my day where I can release any stresses or strains on the treadmill or abuse my body in leg, bums and tums (absolute killer class!). If you can’t afford the gym (mine is very cheap indeed) then how about considering getting off the bus/train/tube stop earlier? I save myself a fortune not getting the tube or parking in the station car park, and I thoroughly enjoy the walk to clear my head. Even in the pouring rain, the walk doesn’t bother me.

So, here are a few of my tips to get as much exercise and healthy eating into your day as possible:

  • Join a cheap council run gym – it may not have a spa or a sauna, but as long as it has a bike and treadmill what more do you really need?
  • Take the stairs instead of lift
  • Walk or cycle to work
  • Walk the dog
  • Carry a rucksack rather than a shoulder bag to spread the weight evenly then you can walk faster
  • Invest in MBTs/sketchers to get a workout while you walk
  • Load up some uplifting dance music onto your iPod or read a book on the exercise bike. I find I then do more as I forget about the time.
  • Join a local ramblers group – you’ll meet lots of great people and get some fresh air
  • Organise your lunches – heat up a soup or take in a sandwich
  • Get on the Wii or XBox connect – it’s fun and interactive
  • Why not try a workout DVD – all of Davina’s DVDs are fantastic!

Exercise essentials

I always carry everything I need for the day in my backpack, wear a parker jacket (so that I can walk in all weathers) and trainers (generally I wear these to work).

I make sure I have a bottle of water, cereal bar, apple, book/magazine, iPod, light-weight workout clothes (cycling clothes are ideal), tissues and a change of shoes, pants and socks in my bag. I also carry deodorant – that way, if I feel a bit hot and sticky from walking/cycling I can spritz some deodorant on.

I’m not saying I’m some sort of exercise guru (I’m really not), but I believe if you truly want to, anyone can get fitter and squeeze a bit of exercise into their day.

Go on, start tomorrow! x

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