Even if there's no time to schedule regular trips to the gym, your body really needs to be put through its paces. The logical solution, then, is to see what you can do as part of your busy daily schedule to flex your muscles and burn off a few extra calories. You need to make the most of any exercise you take, whether it's walking, dancing or doing the housework – even sitting watching TV offers the chance to do stretching exercises. Let's see how to make some of our routine activities a little more active:
- Make yourself a promise to stop waiting for the lift and start using the stairs. Climbing stairs is a good aerobic exercise that helps tighten the muscles in thighs and buttocks.
- However busy we are, we still seem to find time to sit in front of the TV every day. Make the most of this time to exercise your ankles: sit with your legs out in front of you and draw circles in the air with your feet, or flex your feet up and down from the ankle.
- And, talking of the telly, has it ever occurred to you how much exercise you'd get if you got up to change the channel instead of relying on the remote control? (Sitting on the floor at arm's length from the screen is cheating!)
- How about getting an exercise bike and riding while you watch TV, read your copy of HELLO! or chat on the phone?
- Housework is tremendously good exercise, but exchanging the vacuum cleaner for broom and mop will provide an even better work out for your arms.
- Duvets and fitted sheets make bed-making so much easier these days, but it's still a chance to stretch and bend, and, as long as you don't make any violent movements, it's a good workout for your upper body and back.
- And what about the garden? As spring approaches – yes, it's on its way! – there's plenty to be doing outside: sweeping, weeding, pruning... it's all good exercise and will help burn off calories.