Summer is just around the corner: here’s how to add exercise into your routine

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It’s suddenly that time of the year again. The sun is getting stronger and the days are getting longer, and suddenly you’re very aware of how unfit you’ve become over winter. But don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. Thankfully, getting back into shape for summer doesn’t need to be a gruelling process – in fact, you only need to make a few small changes. Here’s how you can add some simple, easy exercises into your everyday routine and get summer-ready without even noticing.

Swap your car for a bike

If a lot of your day involves traveling – whether it’s to and from work, or running various errands – try to leave the car at home and hop on a bike instead. Of course, this might not be possible if you have to travel a particularly long distance, but it’s a great option for shorter trips.

If you haven’t got a bike, you can find one for a reasonable price from most major sporting and department stores, or if you’re up for it, invest in a quality one that will last much longer. Make sure you grab yourself a sturdy bike basket to carry any belongings (grocery shopping, work bags etc.), as well as a cable lock for when you’re out and about. Swapping your car for a bike not only lets you exercise while you travel, but also helps you save on petrol, too!

Take a walk on your lunch break

If you work in an office, chances are you probably spend at least 6 hours a day sitting at your desk. Not only does this inactivity affect concentration and energy levels, studies show sitting for long periods also has a largely negative effect on everything from posture and circulation, to muscle health and digestion.

To combat this, break up your work day by going for a walk after lunch. If you’re lucky enough to work near a park or walking track, use it! If not, find out if your building has a gym nearby and hop on the treadmill instead.

Take the stairs

Whether it’s to your apartment, your office, or the second floor of your local shopping centre, chances are if you need to go ‘up’, you’re going to take the lift. But, unless you’re pushing a pram or wheelchair, try to take the stairs as often as possible.
Climbing stairs forces us to pull our body weight against gravity, burning more calories and increasing overall fitness levels faster than walking or jogging. For an added challenge, carry your shopping bags as you go or try using only every second step.

Move while you’re cooking (or brushing your teeth, or watching TV…)

Aside from sitting at a desk at work, a lot of our time-consuming daily tasks involve standing or sitting still. Thankfully, things like commuting on the train, cooking dinner, or watching a favourite TV show can easily be modified to incorporate simple exercises.

While sitting on the tram or train, try clenching and unclenching your glute and abdominal muscles, or if you’re standing, try some discreet calf raises. While cooking dinner, brushing your teeth, or watching TV, aim to do a few sets of squats or lunges, or try some high-knee jogging on the spot. Just a few short bursts are enough to get your heart and muscles pumping!

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