What’s incidental exercise and how can it help you? I get it – you’re busy. These days we all lead really busy lives; from working, to spending time with family, to doing all the household stuff on your agenda, to finding some time to relax and unwind. All this busyness can come at a price.
“Today, 2.1 billion people (nearly 30% of the world’s population) are either obese or overweight”, according to a new, first-of-its kind analysis of trend data from 188 countries. You would think that the fact that we are so busy all day, every day should actually help us to lose weight, right? But so often the opposite is true.
Being too busy leads us to being stressed, and being stressed is a big contributor to weight gain. “Stress that goes on for a long period is a triple whammy for weight—it increases our appetites, makes us hold onto the fat, and interferes with our willpower to implement a healthy lifestyle,” says Psychology Today. Having a busy schedule can be one of the biggest causes of being overweight or being a weight that you are not happy with.
Incidental activity is any activity built up in small amounts over the day. For example, walking up the stairs or to the bus stop. Physical activity can be accumulated in small amounts through the day or as a single longer session.
The good news is that there are ways to lose weight while working around a hectic and busy schedule. Here are a few ways to lose weight with incidental exercise when you’re short on time.
The first step with incidental exercise is to “get real” with yourself – your goals and your current position. Accept that you don’t have the time to go to the gym as often as you might like, and accept that you may not have the time to prepare healthy meals every single night – then plan around this. There is lots of positivity around accepting yourself as you currently are. Here are some self acceptance affirmations for you to try. Just by seeing things “as they really are” rather than “how you would wish them to be” is a good first step towards realistic health goals.
#2: Come up with creative solutions
Get real; with yourself and do your best to incorporate “incidental exercise” into your day. This could mean opting for a far less time consuming workout regime, such as simply just working out at home (Read this fun post how to use your bathtub as a workout machine, for example!). Incidental exercise allows you to tackle weight without having to spend time getting to and from the gym and waiting for equipment to be free to use whilst there.
#3: Make healthy eating a priority
If you really don’t have time to cook, then consider having weight loss prepared meals sent to your door. This is an increasingly popular method for people who lead very busy lives. Delivery meals that are calorie controlled allow you the chance to eat healthy and fulfilling meals without having to spend hours preparing and cooking them.
#4 Find small gaps in your day to work on your health
Something else to try is to pinpoint areas of your day where you could exercise more, or contribute to your all round wellbeing in other ways, such as finding time to meditate or care for yourself. Find the small spaces in your life (there are usually plenty of opportunities) to get just a little bit more weight losing exercise in. Think of this mother who went viral after exercising in Target. Remember, every little helps when it comes to getting exercise in!
#5: Be creative with your exercise
Instead of taking the escalators on the way to work, take the stairs. Instead of allowing somebody else to always do the heavy lifting or the walking at work, do it yourself. And instead of driving to work, why not cycle? Try new activities that might interest you. Have you tried bush walking, or hiking? Would you like to give rock climbing a go? If you’ve got a busy family life are there activities you can do with your family?
Incidental exercise can be a natural part of your life
Yes, busy schedules are a reason for not losing weight for many people. But, they cannot be an excuse because weight loss can be achieved even on the tightest of schedules. To achieve it, you’ve just got to be willing to take different weight loss routes to others, try incidental exercise and you’ve got to be willing to squeeze in hard work whenever it can be factored in.
By working around your schedule in these ways you will soon find yourself on the way to losing weight easily and (almost) naturally!