Working out can be difficult on weekdays. Here’s how you can break into a sweat in no time
It takes less than a second to find a reason not to exercise when your phone’s on fire and your day is already packed with meetings and chores. For you, exercise probably amounts to walking up the stairs to the canteen for lunch, or going for a tea break to the local chaiwalla during breaks. In such a scenario it’s easy to adopt habits that come to bite you back in the arms, buttocks and thighs. Here’s how you can change your mindset and squeeze a workout into your busy schedule:
You thrive on energy drinks
Chugging energy drinks gets you going. But they are loaded with caffeine and sugar. Many studies have shown that energy drinks are packed with more sugar than popular dessert items. Having one can equal having four pastries at a time. Also, once the sugar-and-caffeine rush wears off, your energy levels come crashing down. Instead, have mercy on your expanding waist line and go for the fat-busting, antioxidant rich green tea.
You hardly drink water through the day
You like to keep a water bottle at your desk, but you rarely walk up to the water cooler to fill it up. Researchers have found that drinking eight-10 glasses of water a day can up your metabolism by up to 50 calories, which is enough to shed about three kilos in a year. The next time you have your meal, remember to drink a glass of water after half an-hour. It will aid digestion and keep your metabolism healthy. You prefer the comfort of your pillow than exercise in the morning.
Your mind may be telling you that you’d rather sleep for the next 30 minutes than wake up for exercise, or go for the latest gig in the city in the evening than waste your time on the treadmill.
You need to understand the benefits of exercise in warding off aging and deadly lifestyle diseases, such as diabetes, and give yourself a pep talk to get into workout mode. If, with your work schedule, you find it difficult to devote even half-an hour to exercise, look for opportunities to work out in short bursts of 10 minutes three times a day. Fitness experts consider exercising in short bursts in spaced-out intervals as effective as exercising at a stretch. You can wake up 10 minutes early and go for a round on the bicycle in your residential area, or take a break in between work and go for a brisk walk around your office, or after you get done from work, climb up and down the stairs for 10 minutes. You gobble junk whenever you can.
With your crazy work schedule, you do not have fixed eating hours. So you frequently end up gorging on whatever junk is available in the office canteen — chips, vada pav to bhajias. Also, eating with gaps of more than three hours throws your metabolism out of gear, and your body starts storing fat assuming it is in a state of famine. Set a time for breakfast every day. Whenever you can, take at least two-three 20 minute breaks to eat meals properly. Go for healthier food choices. If you know you have an outdoor meeting with a client, carry your lunch box and evening snack from home.
Heels are your fashion statement
When exercise opportunities show up, you don’t want to find yourself wearing heels. Instead, keep a pair of sports shoes along with track pants and a t-shirt handy in your desk drawer or your car. If the late night client meeting gets cancelled or your partner is returning home late, you can take an impromptu trip to the park or gym on your way home. The idea is to avoid missing a workout during a busy schedule.
Sleep is not a priority for you
Sleep deprivation is one of the major reasons many women skip exercising in the morning. Being chronically sleep deprived for long periods can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Also the satiety centres in the brain allocated to sleep and food are closely interlinked. When you deprive yourself of any one of the two, you will automatically crave for the other. Fix this. Record your favourite sitcom to be watched later on the weekend, switch off the TV and go to bed early.
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