The busier and older we get, the less time we seem to have for ourselves. Unfortunately, this often means that we tend to prioritise career, family and social life at the expense of exercise and our own well-being.
So when we do try to exercise, it’s harder than ever, we seem to get injured more often and the recovery process takes longer. No wonder we’re feeling totally unmotivated about it all...
But it is possible to fit exercise into your busy lifestyle. It’s all about focusing on small changes and improvements like better nutrition and a short but regular fitness routine - according to research from Boston University in 2013, even ten minutes a day can make a difference. Researchers found that everyday activities and short activity bursts like heavy cleaning and getting off the bus one stop early are as good for you, fitness-wise, as a longer stint in the gym.
Investing in effective pain relief can also help to ease you back into fitness after a long period away. Voltarol Pain-Eze Emugel, for instance, can help you to recover from muscle aches and pains, allowing you more time to do what you love most, whether that’s chasing the kids around the park, a bit of gardening or a Zumba class.
When you stop worrying about recovery time and pain with every movement, you can start to focus on fitting exercise into your day by making it an experience that’s achievable and, most importantly, enjoyable.
The following training tips will help you make the most of your workout time, however short it is.
HIIT (high intensity interval training) describes workouts which alternate between short and sharp bursts of intensive exercise with less intense recovery periods - think sprinting for one minute and then walking for three to build up stamina and endurance.
HIIT exercises (which last anywhere up to eight minutes) are also great when it comes to calorie burning and weight loss without a huge time commitment: according to the American College of Sports Medicine, HIIT workouts tend to burn 6 to 15% more calories than traditional workouts, especially after the workout in the two-hour EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) phase.
Before beginning HIIT sessions, it’s crucial to warm up your body properly and to start gradually increasing your fitness levels. Schedule workouts 48 hours apart to allow your muscles time to recover and use Voltarol Pain-Eze Emugel to ease muscle aches or pains between workouts.
Two acronyms to remember when working out? If you’ve suffered a strain, pay the PRICE - protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation. And remember to avoid HARM: no heat, alcohol, running or exercise or massage for 48 to 72 hours after the injury.
Exercise with friends
If you’re finding that you’d rather socialise with friends than fit a workout in, then why not turn your social hour into a group exercise session?
Not only can friends help to keep you motivated and make that jog or cycle ride more enjoyable, research has also proven that exercising in groups can yield better fitness results.
A Virgin Active study of 1,000 women found that friends who exercised together burned more calories, worked out for longer and attended gym sessions more regularly.
In fact, 31 percent of women said their friends were the main motivation they needed to get them working out.
And you can still have that drink and natter together after the workout - just make it a green juice instead of a G&T.
Sneak in exercise when you can
Between juggling family commitments, work meetings and the occasional drink with friends - and let’s not forget taking out the bins, doing the washing-up and fixing that garden shed - sometimes we really don’t have any time to fit in exercise classes or a gym session.
If you’re finding it tricky to carve out a chunk of your week for fitness, try incorporating exercise into your daily routine in other ways.
Can you cycle, jog or walk part of your morning commute? Or, how about taking that time you spend at your desk and using it to stretch or try the “Magic Carpet Ride” - sit in your chair, cross-legged, and raise yourself up with your hands on the arm rests. Hold for 10 seconds - and be amazed at how much you’re working your core and arms.
Should you experience muscle strains and pains when getting back on track, Voltarol provides up to 3x more effective pain relief than non-medicated gel. The triple effect of Voltarol relieves pain at source, reduces inflammation and helps speed up recovery.
Voltarol Pain-eze Emulgel contains diclofenac diethylammonium for pain and inflammation. Always read the label.
Voltarol is a trademark owned by or licensed to the GSK group of companies.