There aren’t enough hours in the day, right? You want to be more active, move more and feel better, but when life’s this busy, how is that even possible? Well, the answer could just lie in the most dreaded part of your day: the commute to and from work.
Before you baulk: we know it’s not realistic for everyone to walk, bike or run to work. But there are loads of little ways you can stay active and sneak some exercise into more traditional journeys. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Workout on your commute: On public transport1. Calf raises
Whenever you’re standing on a platform or a bus stop, keep your feet together and slowly lift your heels off the floor. Hold the position for ten seconds, then lower yourself back down. Do as many sets as you can.
The Benefit: If you aim for 50-100 calf raises per day (which is easier than it sounds) you’ll soon notice a boost in your calf strength and definition.2. Stair run
Forget escalators and eschew elevators when you’re on the move; take the stairs whenever you can on your commute. Want to squeeze the most exercise from your commute? Don’t trudge up every step; get running or two at a time!
The Benefit: Extra steps means extra calories burned. On average, walking 10,000 steps a day will burn around 500 calories, which should add up to the equivalent of 1lb in weight per week.
3. The ‘Commuter Crunch’
The commuter crunch is a toning workout you can do whenever you’re lucky enough to bag a seat. It’s as close to a proper floor crunch you can do while seated, and should leave you feeling the burn if done right. Plant your feet, contract your abs and roll your spine forwards so that your chest moves towards your lap. Hold it for ten seconds, then relax and repeat.
The Benefit: Each crunch will go a little way towards strengthening your core, which will help add definition to your abs.4. Stand
Can’t get a seat? No problem. Simply standing on a train or bus journey has its share of health benefits, especially if your job involves a lot of sitting. For an added core-challenge, place your feet slightly wider apart and try to go between stops without holding onto the handrails.
The Benefit: Keeping yourself balanced on a moving bus or train involves hundreds of micro-adjustments per minute, improving your core strength.
Workout on your commute: In the car*1. Wheel Squeeze
Normally when you’re squeezing the wheel tightly it’s because road rage has gotten the better of you. But did you know it’s also a good way to fit a workout into your drive? When you’re stopped at lights or in a jam, put your hands at ten and two and spend ten seconds trying to crush the wheel into a ball. Rest and repeat.
The Benefit: This is an ‘overcoming isometric’ strength exercise (in which the angle of your joints and muscles doesn’t change throughout) – great for building arm muscles.2. Wheel Push
Similarly, you can easily do mini push-ups while sitting in traffic by keeping your hands at ten and two, tensing your arm muscles and pulling yourself towards the steering wheel. Hold yourself near the steering column for a few seconds, then ease back into your seat.
The Benefit: One part core workout, one part bodyweight exercise, the wheel push should work your core and arm strength alike.
Toning your core while sitting is easier than you think. Sit really upright, face forwards, clench your abs and twist slowly (and we mean slowly) from side to side, holding at each side for a few seconds per rep.
The Benefit: You probably won’t be sporting a six-pack by the end of your journey, but repeated core twists will definitely help define your core muscles over time.4. Park further from work
If you’re looking to up your step count every day, there’s no simpler solution than parking as far away from work as you can and hot footing it from there.
The Benefit: As with taking the stairs, more steps means more calories burned each day!
*Please only exercise in the car when stopped at traffic lights or in traffic.
How to work out when it’s hot… Feeling the heat? Make sure you don’t do more harm than good with these summer workout tips.