When you're juggling long days at the office with family commitments and a busy social life, gym sessions and exercise classes tend to fall by the wayside.
But getting in shape needn't mean slogging it out for hours at the gym. The key to fitting exercise into your hectic schedule is all about being creative with your time.
If you're sitting at your desk reading this right now, seize the moment with these easy exercises you can do at your desk.
1. Overhead press: Sculpted shoulders
For this you’ll need to raid the stationery cupboard. Sitting on your chair, hold a ream of copy paper with both hands. With your elbows bent, extend your arms overhead and lower to shoulder height. Repeat 10 to 20 times. Keep your arms in front of your head on extension and don’t lock your elbows.
2. Bicep curls: Buff biceps
You will need two 600ml water bottles (filled). Sit on the edge of your chair with your abs in tight and spine straight. With a bottle in each hand, curl them towards your shoulder and slowly lower down. Repeat 10 to 20 times. Move slowly with your elbows close to your sides and control the upward and downward motion.
3. Seated abs crunches: Flat stomach
Sit on the edge of your chair with your arms extended out in front of you. Keeping your back straight, contract your abs and slowly lower your torso towards the back of chair, making sure to keep back straight. Hold for five to10 seconds and repeat three times.
4. Tricep dips: Banished bingo wings
Sit upright and place your hands on your chair hip-width apart with your fingers pointing forward. Place your feet firmly on the floor. Slide your glutes off the chair with your elbows slightly bent. Lower your body by bending at the elbows until they are at 90-degree angle. Return to start position and repeat 10 to15 times.
5. Chair squats: Buns of steel
Begin sitting on your chair and clench your butt cheeks together. Lift your bottom off the chair and hover over the chair in a squat position for 10 to 15 seconds then stand up and repeat two to three times.
Ben McDonald, fitness lecturer at Premier Training International suggests these simple ways to squeeze fitness into your busy schedule...
Are you really as busy as you think? It may feel like every second is used but when you sit down and plan your day it's rare to find that it's actually the case. Even the smallest time-slot can be turned into an opportunity.
If you're tight for time and can't fit in a long run, do bursts of sprints followed by short recovery periods. This gives you real bang for your buck in a relatively short period of time
An agonist-antagonist superset is where we use one muscle group followed directly by using the opposite muscle group. For example, a bench press followed by a wide grip row. This means that as we train one muscle group the opposite is resting and vice versa thus trimming back on rest periods.
Having exercise equipment at home, such as Swiss balls and hand-held weights, will enable you to workout whenever you have a spare moment. If you're serious about getting fit, invest in a 'suspension training system'. These allow you to perform a full-body workout in a short period of time with minimal space.
Trying to squeeze in a lunchtime gym session? Maximise your time by preparing your lunch the night before. This will save time queueing up in the sandwich shop - and prevent you giving in to calorie-laden takeaway temptations.
All activity is useful so use the stairs instead of the lift at work, get off the bus a stop earlier, use the TV ad breaks to do a little exercise (see how many press ups you can do before your programme comes back on). Every moment counts when it comes to burning calories.