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10 Ways To Stick To Your Workouts in Summer

4 MIN READ • 2nd October 2022

No time to work out? No excuse! Here are some quick and easy ways to squeeze exercise into a busy day

1 Netflix and flex

It’s near the end of the day, the kids are in bed, you haven’t had time to do a workout session and can’t muster up the energy now; you just want to chill out and watch TV. But instead of flopping down on the sofa, why not do some stretches, perhaps squats and lunges, or bicep dips while watching your latest Netflix obsession? Once you start, you’ll be surprised at what a difference this can make to your mood and energy as well as your body. Even if you only manage a few exercises, remember that doing something is better than nothing. Plus, it’s not as easy to gorge on chocolate while doing lunges!

2 Get some balls

Tempting as it is to sit around eating and drinking at summer picnics, barbecues and parties, you can make your social events a bit more energetic by introducing some ball games into the mix. Barbecue on the beach? Bring along a cricket set or volleyball and get everyone involved! Kids and grown-ups are sure to have a laugh playing together, and aside from the obvious exercise benefits it’s also a great way for you all to bond. How about getting a badminton set ahead of your next garden party, or croquet, if space allows? Or organise a rounders game after a picnic?

3 Get hot in the kitchen

“Fitting in extra movement into your day is all about making use of dead time and there are some great exercises you can do while cooking,” says David Wiener, training and nutrition specialist at fitness app Freeletics (freeletics.com). “Try a short HIIT circuit of star jumps, burpees, a plank and heel raises while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil or the oven to warm up. You could also use the kitchen counter to do push-ups or perform squats while you’re loading the dishwasher.”

4 Roll out your yoga mat

First thing in the morning, instead of scrolling through social media, try rolling out your yoga mat and doing 10 minutes of gentle stretches to wake up your body and mind for the day.

5 Be a dancing queen

Instead of arranging a catch-up with friends at the pub, see if they fancy going out dancing. The movement and music release some serious feel-good vibes and you’ll be torching some calories in the process. Not a fan of late-night clubbing? Find a local Clubbercise class in your area (clubbercise.com) to throw some shapes and get a cardio workout to 90s club classics. Or if Latin beats are more your thing, go along to a local Zumba dance fitness class (zumba.com). If all else fails and you’re stuck at home, make like Sophie Ellis-Bextor and have your very own kitchen disco – whack on your favourite tunes and dance like no-one’s watching. Because you can.

6 Release your inner child

When it comes to keeping kids entertained over summer, making an effort to play with them will not only help you fit more movement into your day, but will also bolster your relationship as they’ll appreciate your time and attention. All the more reasons to join in on the swings and monkey bars, climb a tree, kick a ball about with them, have a go on their scooters and skateboards, go for a bike ride, splash around in the pool or challenge older ones to a race. Indulging in some good old-fashioned childsplay like this also helps zap stress for us adults.

7 Think small

You don’t have to carve out huge amounts of time in your day for exercise. “In 15 minutes, you can do a strength-based HIIT workout,” says personal trainer Kim Ngo from London-based fitness studio 1Rebel (1rebel.co.uk). Try this: “Do each of the following exercises for 30 seconds and then pause for a 30-second rest before moving on to the next one: squat jumps, shoulder taps, jumping lunges, mountain climbers and kick throughs. Complete three rounds.”

8 Walk this way

The summer holidays mean the school run’s out, and if you’re noticing the drop in your daily step count, look for other ways to boost it. Before automatically getting in the car for every trip, think about whether you (with or without the kids in tow) could walk instead. Or perhaps cycle? For a budget-friendly day out with the family, plan a nature walk, or sightseeing walking tour around a historic local town.

9 Work it

Juggling a job and childcare isn’t easy, especially during the six-week holidays, so make work work for you by being clever with your time. Then you can be more present with your family when you’re with them. “If you’ve got a desk-based job, there are some great yoga stretches that you can do which can increase your flexibility and help combat aches and pains,” David suggests. “Try a neck stretch and a seated twist.” Also, take breaks. “Make sure you have a lunch break, and as well as eating, try to fit in some exercise. A brisk walk or jog will get your blood pumping,” he adds. Time outside in the fresh air is also great for your mental fitness.

10 Get a fitness buddy

Our friends have a huge influence on our opinions and motivations, so try to spend more time with those who have a healthy impact on you. Better still, arrange to exercise with one of your mates – even if it’s just a walk in the park – as you’re more likely to stick to your plans than going it alone. And you’re also more likely to have a longer fitness sesh. One study published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology showed that working out with a partner produced an extra motivational gain which meant people exercised for longer than those who worked out alone.

Meet the writer
Stacey Carter
Senior content writer

When I’m not at my desk writing a feature or researching the latest trends in women’s health, you’ll probably find me deep in a book or doing a LISS-style session in the gym in the evening. I have... Discover more

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