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How To Find An Extra Hour’s Activity In Your Day

1000 664 Clare Evans, Personal and Business Coach

office exercise

A recent report in the Lancet says an hour of exercise a day can counteract the many hours we spend sitting at our desks, in front of a computer or watching TV.

Long periods of sitting increase your risk of premature death more than obesity (another good reason to get moving) and smoking. Inactivity increases your risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
50% of women and 30% of men fail to achieve even the recommended 30 minutes a day.
But we’re all so busy, how can we find time to fit in an hour of exercise?

It doesn’t have to mean going to the gym or joining an exercise class, although that can help. Just get more active throughout the day and it all adds up.

• Get up from your desk every half an hour. Use the Pomodoro concept of 25 minutes of work and a 5 minute break. You’ll be more focused, more productive and spend less time sitting.

“50% of women and 30% of men fail to achieve even the recommended 30 minutes a day”

But we’re all so busy, how can we find time to fit in an hour of exercise?

• Take a walk at lunchtime. Avoid the temptation to eat at your desk. Find some green space if you can, walk to the shops or just around the block.

• Get up and go and talk to your colleagues face-to-face rather than pinging them yet another email or using the phone.

• If it’s a short meeting – stand don’t sit. Not only will this keep it to time but you’ll avoid adding to your sitting time.

• Walk or cycle to the station instead of taking the car. Even better if you can walk or cycle to work or …

• Get on or off the bus, train or tram a stop earlier and walk the extra distance. Whether it’s work, a trip to the shops or just around town.

• Walk to the shops. How many of you jump in the car to pop to your local shop? Many of my neighbours do it – it’s less than a 10 minute walk to the nearest ‘corner’ shop and only 15 minutes to a larger supermarket (OK, even I drive when I have more than a few items to buy).
• Use the stairs at work rather than the lift. While you might not want to walk up every floor, if your office is on the 20th floor, taking a few stairs to go up or down a couple of floors will get you fitter.
• Walk up escalators. They’re not just for standing on, unless it’s really busy and no one is walking up them.

“Use the stairs at work rather than the lift. While you might not want to walk up every floor, if your office is on the 20th floor, taking a few stairs to go up or down a couple of floors will get you fitter”

• Download and play PokemonGo – this game is being credited with getting people out and about outdoors and walking. [Warning – download this at your peril, it’s likely to be addictive and you’ll actually ‘waste’ more time playing it!]

• Get a pedometer or use an app like MapMyFitness (Walk, Run or Cycle apps) or activity tracker – Fitbit or Garmin to monitor your activity. Even if you only use it to see how much you do, you can also benefit from working with your friends and seeing how you score. The competitive element can be enough to motivate you to move more.

• 15 minutes of stretching or yoga is a good way to ease out those muscles and joints which have been in one position for hours at a time.

It all adds up. 15 minutes at the beginning and end of the day and 30 minutes at lunch time is more achievable than finding an hour to go to the gym. Several ‘5-10 minutes of activity’ throughout the day can make up the recommended one hour.

Make the most of the longer hours of daylight and the warmer weather to get out and about. Get away from your desk, increase your activity and feel the benefit.

Yes you can

Improve Your Motivation

1024 682 Rachel Le Feuvre, Reset Button

Make things happen

Now holidays are over and the new school year started it is the perfect time to take stock and make some adjustments. After a period away from work becoming motivated again is often difficult. To help the team at The Reset Button have devised a useful action plan.

1. Stop Expecting Miracles

Aim for small incremental changes. Realistic and possible.

You can’t expect a one week boot camp or three day juice diet to change your life, other than the pain you go through the days you do it.

Improving your life and health happens in incremental pieces. You start with one little block of self love, you feel good about it, it encourages another little block. Slowly, over time, you’ve built up something that really makes a noticeable difference in you.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. The best things in life take time.


2. Forget The Jones’s

It’s important to stop comparing yourself to others.

No matter what you do, you are not going to suddenly become someone else.

The most motivating thing you can do is to genuinely compare yourself to yourself.

Start a diary. If you are trying to move on from hurtful or negative feelings, compare this week to last week. Celebrate any small improvements. Were you less angry/upset? Did you achieve something you wanted to do? Did you not think about a problem for a day? Did you deal with something differently to how you normally do? Congratulate yourself.

Want to change how you look? Take pictures of yourself. There’s a free app Photo Vault where you can keep your pictures safe and private, download it. Motivate yourself by seeing the true and real changes within yourself. Compare yourself with you and you’ll find it much more inspiring. Don’t compare yourself with you ten years ago, it’s an impossible ask. You should be aiming for the present you to change, so use the body you have right now to inspire you. Rather than looking back at the distant past look to now and the future you.

3. Make Yourself Accountable

When you commit to doing something with a partner you will be much more likely to succeed.

Want to improve your fitness? Commit to tennis lessons with your friend. Join a gym with a colleague. Sign up to a fun run with a companion. You won’t want to let them down, so it will make you do it. You do want to do it after all, and it’s sociable too so double bonus points.

Trying to eat better? Elect a food buddy. Create a WhatsApp or email chain. Share what you are about to eat every single time you are about to eat it. I assure you will be thinking twice about some meal choices when you know you have to be honest about it all.

Most of all, be honest with yourself. Remind yourself of what you really want. You are the one in control of your body, so make sure you remember to think before you act. Try to make everything you do measured and controlled. Be aware, not on autopilot. Don’t use excuses. Take time for yourself. Sometimes you might have to say no to people. This happens. If they are your friends, they’ll understand, and soon they’ll enjoy the newer motivated you even more.

If you would like further help or advice please contact The Reset Button

Why not try our Mindfulness Mini-Course : ‘Calm Your Mind’ available FREE on itunes: Calm Your Mind