The high-pressure working environment in Singapore, coupled with a hectic schedule, means exercising often takes a backseat in our lives. For some, devoting additional time to working out after an exhausting day at work seems like a chore.
And for others bogged down by a variety of responsibilities like family, social obligations, and pet projects, committing to a full-fledged workout session can feel like an impossible task.
However, squeezing time out to exercise and commit to sweating away the calories is doable. Here are some tips you can adopt:
1. Choose to exercise a little over nothing at all.
Deciding that you want lead a healthier lifestyle is often easier said than done. Many set tough fitness goals that they hope to meet within the first few sessions. However, they fail to do so – either because they could not commit to an hour-long gym session or finish 10 rounds on the jogging track — and often end up feeling discouraged or choose to stop trying after a while.
If you have gone through the same, know that any exercise is better than none! Taking that first step towards changing your lifestyle means you have already achieved some success. It’s better to squeeze in a fitness session when possible than to do none at all, even if it’s only taking a five-minute brisk walk home or carrying out a 10-minute session at the gym daily.
2. Combine both exercise and transport
One way is to incorporate exercise as part of your transportation routine. The sweltering heat in Singapore may be a huge deterrent but you don’t have to walk all the way from home to your destination.
A short brisk walk of about 10 minutes—perhaps to the next bus stop—each day will get your heart rate up and pumping. Another alternative is to cycle to work if you live close by. Even if you’re a frequent driver, you can park your car further from your destination just to sneak in some exercise.
3. Work out efficiently
Workouts that help you achieve great physical improvement and work major muscle groups within a short period of time is an efficient one. These typically include cardiovascular exercises, bodyweight exercises, and interval training. Such workouts can be done anytime and anywhere, without the need for additional equipment.
Cardiovascular exercises, like walking and running, are easy for beginners to pick up, and can strengthen the lungs and heart while helping you to lose weight. Meanwhile, bodyweight exercises work by making use of an individual’s own weight to provide resistance. Examples of these include squats, lunges, push-ups and pull-ups, and burpees. Finally, interval training consists of alternating between high- and low-intensity activities. This can be done by varying your pace throughout your exercise session. For instance, you can sprint for a minute, and then slow down to a jog for two.
4. Work out during lunch time
If exercising before heading to work and after working hours seem too exhausting as a possibility, working out during lunch can be a good alternative. Instead of having a heavy lunch with your co-workers, why not have your lunch at the desk after heading to the gym? Some gyms even offer lunchtime workout sessions for busy professionals!
On top of helping you to beat that post-lunch sluggishness, lunchtime workouts also ensure that you need not sacrifice precious leisure time, so you can still watch your favourite show or play video games. All you need is a workout that takes up about half an hour, and the rest of the hour can be spent taking a quick shower and travelling back to work.
5. Schedule an appointment
Examine your schedule and see if you can find any pockets of time that can be spent on exercising. Once you do, mark it out on your calendar, and keep attending sessions regularly as you would any appointment that you cannot afford to miss, like a dentist appointment or visiting your parents. The key is to keep them consistent, so that exercising becomes a routine that comes naturally.
6. Make your workout fun, so you’ll turn it into a priority
Dreading workout sessions will soon lead you to giving up on them. Working out can become a priority only when it is an activity you look forward to doing. You can do this by playing a sport you love, working out with your favourite gym buddy, or scheduling your exercises such that you can do them while watching your favourite shows. As long as you have a reason to keep exercising, you’ll keep doing it until it becomes an unshakable habit.