10 ways to fit exercise into your day

For freelance workers freedom from routine and structure is likely one of the things that attracts us to this type of work. We have the ability to work in the morning or evening, weekdays or weekends. It’s wonderful for our personal flexibility and sense of freedom, but is it good for our health?

Finding time to stay in shape can be difficult no matter what your job or schedule if you don’t make it part of your routine. Even more so if you value having a routine that isn’t regular at all, and a job where every hour that you’re not working, you’re not making money. But we also know that even 20 minutes of exercise a day can make those working hours happier and more productive. So it pays to take a break and get your body moving! Whether you’re a driver zipping around your city all day, or a designer sitting at your desk, here are some creative ways to integrate exercise into your life.

Get a walking start

Get up a little early and walk outside before you start your routine. Research shows that walking first thing in the morning set’s a positive mindset for the day and gives you an energy boost.

Jog or run to work

If you have an office with a shower, there’s no better time-saver or commute buster than running to work. If your office is at home, then you have no excuse! Plus you can make your commute as long or short as you like. Start with a short jog around the block and see if you can increase the distance from there.

Break up your drive

It takes some discipline, but by turning your driver mode to off after every 5 rides, you can give yourself some uninterrupted time to pull over and do some pushups, crunches, high knees, squats, burpees, or whatever your choice! Go walk around the block or a park. Try to pick an exercise that’ll get your heart rate up, but the most important thing is to get out of your seat and move around. Sitting all day has been known to decrease life expectancy and increase risk of heart disease and diabetes, and simply standing burns 30% more calories than sitting!

Dance till you drop

There’s nothing better than having fun while you sweat and dance is actually a great way to stay fit and de-stress. Start or end your day on a high note with 5-10 minutes of grooving to an old favorite song or new discovery.  

Hit the stairs

Work in a multi-storey house or in a building? Take your breaks walking up and down the stairs. Bonus if you listen to inspiring music (great for activating other parts of your brain) and doing a few push-ups on the stairs!

Indulge your inner child

Playtime is healthy, even for adults. If you see an empty playground try the monkey bars or swings for a few minutes.

“Run” your errands

Running errands during the day? Run/jog/walk to your destination, either the entire distance or park a few blocks from your destination and walk the rest of the way there.

Find your zen

Sometimes the best exercise is simply sitting, clearing the mind, and breathing. This can help lower stress and improve your quality of life. You only need a few minutes a day and you can do it wherever you are, even if it’s noisy! (Check out this 3-minute meditation for noisy places). If you’re new to meditation, you can watch this intro video.

Stretch out

Yoga and slow concentrated movement can help destress and bring more peace and calmness to your busy day. If you’re new to yoga, try this simple stretch: bend over and touching your toes, then slowly roll up to stand. Then do the reverse: slowly reach for the sky stretching upwards, breathing while you do this, then back down to a forward bend. You can then focus your stretching on other parts of your body by doing neck rolls, trunk twists, and knee rotations.

Pack your bag

At night, pack a light bag with workout clothes. If you take a workout bag with you every day, you’re more likely to find ways to exercise. The act of getting prepared to workout can also function as a ritual that makes it easier to take the next step: actually exercising!

These are just a few ideas for incorporating exercise into your routine. Have you tried any of them? If so, share your experience or tell us your favorite way to get moving!