The stress of moving home often means fitness takes a back seat. You have way more important things on your to-do list, right? A bit of fitness know-how helps here. Apps, incidental exercise and not underestimating the power of walking will all help you to keep you on track.
Here are my top five ways to make your house move work for your workout.
Use your house-move as a workout!
The more boxes you carry, the more flights of stairs you run, the more your house move will resemble a structured workout.
You burn around 220 calories an hour unpacking boxes; around 380 moving furniture and a whopping 500-plus lugging items up flights of stairs!
But remember: form is key to injury prevention. Always bend from the hips and knees and never the back; avoid twisting with a large load and try and keep your item as close to your waist as possible.
However pushed for time you are, always take breaks – form is often compromised when you start to get tired.
Consider low-maintenance workouts
The gym can be a big-time commitment and an energy drain when you’re looking to conserve every last bit of energy for packing and unpacking as well as coping with all the last-minute details of a house-move.
Think about low maintenance workouts to keep fitness levels maintained that don’t require trips to the gym or health club to tide you over.
Running’s an obvious choice – lace up your trainers, cobble together a decent playlist and you’re good to go.
A living room bootcamp is also an option: body resistance moves such as hopping, skipping, push ups, lunges, planks, crunches and squats will keep you fit and toned without eating into too much precious house-moving time.
Befriend the app
There are hundreds of wonderful fitness apps to choose from when it comes to staying fit when you’re time-poor.
You can track steps with apps such as Human, Moves or RunKeeper while popular workout apps such as FitStar, Freeletics and PEAR Personal Coach offer some great free content – 5,10, or 15-minute routines that you can run through in a postage-stamp-sized space are yours in a swipe.
A pedometer app, on the other hand, one that tracks your steps, will provide you with data that can be surprisingly motivational: you may not think those trips to fetch milk, find the nearest post box or rescue the Deliveroo guy count but you’ll be surprised how they add up.
Space exercise sets throughout the day
Just because you don’t have the time to get to the gym, it doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze your regular routine throughout the day.
Perform calf raises as you head up the stairs, pulsing squats as you break open boxes and planks as you hit the living room floor to check for areas the hoover missed.
Combine downtime with exercise. Taking a break from unpacking? Use this time as an excuse to head out and explore the local area and boost step count at the same time.
While brisk walking around the block a few times may not offer quite as many fitness benefits as your regular spinning class, it’ll still raise your heart rate more than collapsing in front of your tablet, as well as helping to boost bone density and burn calories.
And if you needed further proof ‘every little helps’ applies to exercising like this, a new study that recently made the headlines found that an hour of exercise helps to offset some of the risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle.