06/05/2014 11:38 BST | Updated 06/07/2014 06:59 BST

Everyday Exercise

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No time for the gym? Make the most of the time you have to get some everyday fitness.


Do you walk for 15 minutes a day? Researchers in Taiwan found that 15 minutes per day, or 90 minutes per week of moderate exercise, like brisk walking, can add up to three years to your lifespan, according to in a study published in the Lancet in 2011.

Although moderate amounts of brisk walking may not be enough to fight off weight gain, the NHS website says it can reduce the risk of heart disease, strokes, asthma and type 2 diabetes.


So if your commute involves public transport and a short walk, get off a stop earlier and walk a bit further and you will arrive at work revitalised, on sunny days anyway. Sunshine will also help increase your Vitamin D levels which are essential for healthy bones.

To make your daily walk even more effective, pick up the pace and swing your arms to exercise your shoulders, hold your tummy in as you walk to strengthen your core and the added benefit of a flatter stomach ! Be careful of your posture, don't carry a heavy bag on one shoulder. Actually clear out your bag - I bet you don't use half that stuff anyway !

Walking, cycling, roller skating, running and even kayaking (in London) are all great ways to make your commute more fun, less expensive and increase your heart rate.

Remember to check the forecast, dress appropriately for the weather and carry a bottle of water, especially on warmer days.

Once in the office, don't take the lift, walk up the stairs, soon you won't be out of puff when you reach your floor.


If you can take an hour for lunch, find a local yoga or pilates class to stretch out after being hunched up over your desk. If downward dog is not your thing, nip into the local pool, or get the guys together for a bit of footie or cricket in the local park.

Whatever you do LEAVE THE BUILDING. Even if it is just to grab a sandwich and take another brisk walk. In summer find a picnic spot to enjoy your lunch alfresco. If the boss raises an eyebrow just remind her that fresh air and exercise will make you more productive in the afternoon and you might just have a work related brainwave on your lunch break.

Recently the Scottish Government launched a "Fit in '14" campaign to encourage workplaces and employees to introduce some everyday fitness into their lives ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this July.

The campaign quotes statistics that claim that being physically active means employees take fewer sick days, report more job satisfaction and there is a reduction in workplace injuries and accidents.

The UK government recommends that adults aim to take daily exercise, adding up to a total of 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week, at least 10 minutes at a time. The Department of Health suggests that healthy adults aim for 30 minutes of exercise at least five time a week.

So as days grow longer and the sun shines more frequently, there is more reason than ever to get out in the fresh air and incorporate a little everyday fitness into your life. It may not lead to a bikini body, but you will find you have more energy than ever and a sunnier disposition.