Top 10 Quick Fitness Tips

by Didi Lutz

Tuesday February 26, 2008

Tired of saying you are too busy to work out? In today's job market, recession creeping up, stressful jobs, higher demands, and lack of time are just some of the prime factors that keep people from exercising.

Boston-based Fitcorp trainers think otherwise ( They have created a list of Top 10 quick fitness tips to keep in mind next time you think you don't have the time to squeeze in a workout.

Top Ten Quick Fitness Tips

1. Plan Ahead

If you have a day by day planner or a calendar, write in the times you are going to work out and consider it non-negotiable. Whether it is in the morning or at night, consider your workout part of your daily schedule, not something you will "fit in" if you have time.

2. Break It Up

The daily recommendation is at least 30 minutes a day of moderately intense exercise, but people often think it needs to be done all at once. It's perfectly acceptable to break up your workouts into 10 minute spurts. If you are at work, go out for a brisk walk in between meetings. Take a break from answering emails and stretch for 10 minutes in your office. Any sort of physical activity counts as exercise, and little bits of it throughout the day really add up.

3. Pack Snacks

Of course you're going to get hungry during the day, but making trips to the vending machine is a surefire way to ruin your diet. Take the time every week to pack healthy snacks in single serving bags to take with you wherever you go. Make sure your snacks have a good combination of fiber and healthy fats to ensure you feel satisfied. A good example would be an apple with two tablespoons of peanut butter, baby carrots and hummus, or a slice of whole wheat bread topped with low fat cheese and avocado. Not only are these choices healthier then any vending machine snack, but they will also leave you feeling far more satisfied throughout the day and you'll be less likely to "crash and burn".

4. Circuit Train

If you do make it into the gym, make every minute count. Have a personal trainer help you create an intense circuit training routine that will keep you moving the entire time, instead of standing around in between sets. Circuit training consists of several exercises that can be done right after another. Not only will you get a great total body workout, but all the moving around will get your heart rate up and you'll end up getting a great cardio workout as well.

5. Multi Muscle Exercises

Along the same lines as circuit training, multi muscle exercises are a great way to cut your workout time in half. It's easy: simply perform two exercises at once instead of one at a time. A prime example would be a forward lunge coupled with a bicep curl. Another great example is a squat with an overhead press. By combining two moves into one, you're still giving yourself an intense workout, only in a shorter amount of time.

6. Work Out on Your Lunch Break

Do you really eat lunch for an entire hour? The average American meal lasts about 10-20 minutes, so chances are you're left with about 40-50 minutes of spare time. So what do you do with it? You're lunch break should be just that: a break. Get away from your desk and get some exercise, whether it's at a gym or simply going for a walk. These active breaks will help to clear your mind and relieve stress, making you more productive during the day.

7. Take the Stairs

You've probably heard this one many times before, but if it's not hammered into your head by now you're going to hear it again. It's the little things that add up. Do you work on the 5th floor of your office building? Take the stairs. It's a great workout and you'll probably find its faster then waiting around for the elevator. If you work on a really high floor, take it one step at a time. Aim to climb the first 3 flights and take the elevator the rest of the way. Gradually increase it every week until climbing up to your office feels like a breeze.

8. Intensify Your Chores

Nobody likes doing chores, so why not look at it as a way to get some exercise? Mow the lawn (without the ride on lawn mower), or water the flowers yourself without using a sprinkler. Doing laundry can count as exercise, too. Try to think of ways to make your chores a little more intense. Instead of bending over to throw a load of laundry in, perform a squat on your way down and up. While you are waiting for the water to boil for dinner, perform a couple sets of pushups and lunges. These simple changes will help to improve your health and, by strengthening your core muscles, will make everyday movements seem that much easier.

9. Walk/Ride to Work

This may not be feasible for many individuals, but some people who work in a city might have the option of walking or riding a bike to work. The benefits of this are even better then just making you healthier. You will save money on gas, do your part in helping the environment, and find your commute is probably shorter by avoiding traffic. If this is not an option for you, try the age old trick of parking as far away from your building as possible. It's amazing how a fast walk across the parking lot can get your heart pumping.

10. Keep a Food Journal

Your diet and how you eat is just as important as your fitness regiment. Keeping a food journal and writing down everything you consume are great ways to gain insight into how much you're eating and what you're eating habits are. By identifying key factors and trigger points in your diet, you will get to know your body better and be more prepared for when a craving hits and how to deal with it.

Fitcorp is greater Boston's largest locally owned fitness provider with a network of ten fitness centers including The Boston Racquet Club. For more than 28 years, Fitcorp has been providing exceptional fitness and customized wellness benefits to Boston's best companies, their employees, and individuals who desire convenient, leading-edge fitness opportunities delivered with the highest level of service in the industry.