Five exercises for busy lifestyles

Artwork of three individuals performing workouts. CREDIT: CALEIGH REID
Busy schedules are no match for these quick, easy workouts.

Living in a society where work can very easily take priority over exercising your body, isn’t necessarily great for your health. Often, the thought of a high intensity workout before a long day at work or even after, when your body is calling for relaxation, can be quite a turn off for people. The summer season is upon us and students are either in the workforce or on the hunt to be in the workforce. Read this article about how you can incorporate just 20-30 minutes of movement in your day to keep a healthy lifestyle.

Walking/jogging  The weather is slowly but surely becoming more bearable to be outdoors. If you walk to and from work, take a mental note to walk the scenic and longer route just to get your steps in. Being outdoors in nature with fresh air has so many benefits to it and combining your physical health with your mental health is a great way to take care of your body. If you don’t walk to and from work, try to go for regular walks in the evening or morning if you can’t get any other type of movement scheduled into your day. 

Stair climbing  We’ve all heard the saying already: always take the stairs, if you can. Stair climbing can be a great way to get your heart pumping and to practice your breathing techniques. When elevators and escalators became popular, using a staircase easily became the least preferred option because it’s not using any energy in your body and can be much faster. If your office has a stair option, try to take the stairs to wake up your body from sitting at a desk all day. To take this exercise up one level, no pun intended, the Stairmaster that is frequently seen in gyms is a great way to target the glutes.

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Yoga/Pilates  For days when you have a bit more energy to utilize in your workouts, I would recommend a 10-minute core focused Pilates class. YouTube has great options for at-home Pilates and yoga, making it easy for individuals to get their exercise in without leaving home. For slower days when you want to stretch but also focus on your breathwork, find a yoga class whether that’s in-person or online!

Desk stretching Don’t be afraid to do a few stretches at your desk to loosen up the tension in certain areas of your body. From sitting down straight all day or worse, slouching, it can cause a strain in the spine from lack of mobility in that region. Pressing your palms into your knees as you create big circles with your upper body in any direction, is one of my favourite desks stretches to do as it massages the vertebrae. 

Okay, but make it fun!  If you’re juggling work life with social life and potentially school life, combining your health and exercises with one of these can be helpful. Finding an activity that you can do with a friend that counts towards your social life is the perfect way to be efficient so to speak. Whether that’s going with a friend to a yoga or Pilates class, Zumba class, squash, tennis, or any other collaborative sport, is a great way to get your movement in.

Carving out time for movement as a part of your daily life can significantly help enhance your lifestyle and the health of your body. As mentioned earlier, when life and busy schedules come into play, prioritizing your movement can be the last thing on your mind. Try the above five exercises to have some movement as a part of your day this summer.