Developing a regular workout schedule is hard. You might feel very motivated and determined at the beginning, and one day, you are extremely busy and come home much later than usual. All you want to do is to lie in bed or sofa, have a microwave dinner, and call it a day. We have been all there.
It is so easy to be overwhelmed by your work or daily schedule, even though many empowering articles and fitness coaches on social media keep telling us that, everything is possible, time is not the issue,or having no time is an excuse. Developing a regular workout habit requires so many elements that are different for everyone. So what can we do about this? How do we kickstart a healthier lifestyle?
An interesting article from BBC by Zaria Gorvett about “Microbreak” brings up the brilliant concept of micro-everything, micro movements that will add up to your routine and deliver results.
Microbreak is a short and voluntary break that could be chatting with colleagues, having a tea, snack or watching a funny video on your smartphone. Anything that can disconnect you from work for a while is proved to be beneficial to productivity.
So why can’t exercise be micro as well? Some exercise is better than no exercise, right? Therefore, if you have a tight schedule, micro exercise will be the ideal workout option!
What’s more, you can design your own micro exercise that suits your schedule and situation. Just remember, a micro exercise should be something easy to do and work for YOU. Here are some of my tips for micro exercise:
- Bike or walk to work
“Simply moving more is linked to living longer, regardless of age, sex, and starting fitness level,” says Dr. Elin Ekblom-Bak of Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences. (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190412085238.htm)
Biking and walking are very simple to begin with. If you are used to taking public transportation or use your scooter or car, why not try to bike or walk (in walking distance of course) to your office? You only have to do it twice a day, plus you are helping the environment in a sense!
To make your bike ride/walk more pleasant, you can use your smartphone to keep track of your miles or listen to your favorite music on the way to work or school. Simply put a bike phone holder on your bike then you are ready! (https://www.boneshop.com/us/categories/sport/). After several weeks, you will be surprised at how long you have biked and feel encouraged and accomplished.
- Take the stairs
Ok, so the distance between your home and the office is too far to bike or walk. Another bit of great and, most importantly, easy exercise is to take the stair instead of the elevator. Taking the stairs is a good way of training your cardiorespiratory fitness and strength, according to Berkeley Wellness. (https://www.berkeleywellness.com/fitness/exercise/article/stair-climbing-how-get-most-benefits) In case you live very far away from your office, you can simply exercise by taking the stairs to increase your daily workout!
- Drink more water!
Drinking more water is, in fact, a good combination of microbreak and micro exercise! According to the BBC article I mentioned earlier, “a good way of forcing yourself to have a break is to have a really large liter bottle of water at your desk. You will have to go for a toilet break – so that’s a good way of forcing yourself to stand up while staying hydrated.”
Keep in mind: it has to be WATER, not coffee or any other drinks, but water! Water helps discarding body waste, supports weight loss, boosts skin health and beauty and more (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290814.php). So drink more water. It does make you thinner and most importantly, healthier.
- Use the paper!
One of the biggest problems of all the office workers is perhaps long-time sitting. Sitting all day is, unfortunately, bad for our health. It also affects the metabolism of the lower body and causes fat and body waste accumulation. To put it simple, our butt and thighs get fat and puffy!!!
“What’s bad for butt is actually bad for your entire body” says by SELF in an article, Beyond Butt Pain: This is What Sitting All Day Does to your Body, “When you’re sitting, your butt’s not working at all.” (https://www.self.com/story/this-is-what-sitting-all-day-does-to-your-butt)
Therefore, it is very important to do stretch a little after one or half-hour of sitting. Another quick way to work on your thigh muscles while sitting is to “use a paper”. Put a piece of paper between your thighs and hold it tightly for around 30 seconds then relax. After a few weeks, you will see the result! But if you can, it is better to stand up to stretch your body after one or two hours of sitting.
Micro-exercise does add up! Why not be creative and try these micro-exercise tips?