Charlotte Hawkins Reveals How She Stays Fit When She’s Short On Time

Always complaining there’s not enough time to fit in a workout? Our columnist reveals how she stays fit, even with the earliest of starts

Fitting in exercise can be a challenge; when life gets busy, it’s often the thing that gets dropped. But at times like that, it’s actually what we should be prioritising. It’s not only good for your body, but good for your mind as well. So when you feel like you don’t have the time for your usual routine, then use every opportunity to squeeze in a workout when you can. Make the most of any spare moments to boost your energy levels by getting moving.

I started to re-evaluate my exercise routine after I had my daughter, Ella Rose. I needed to maximise my time as I felt like I never had a moment to myself, so I looked at ways of being smarter about how I could keep fit. That started first thing in the morning, when I would do two minutes of squats while brushing my teeth. Then during the day I would do more squats with her in my arms. My gym was around the house, using every item I could, whether that was running up and down the stairs, weighted step-ups or a few scissor jumps. I’ve kept that up whenever I can, and try to make the most of every spare minute. Even now I use Ella Rose’s swings for a quick bit of suspension training when I’m outdoors playing with her!

When I’m at Good Morning Britain, I start the day off at 4.30am by getting moving as soon as I arrive in my dressing room. Stretches, a few squats and some press-ups help wake me up. Running on the spot, sprinting up stairs, or a bit of shadow boxing helps get the blood pumping and makes a difference if you do it every day. The amount of time the average person spends at work is more than 90,000 hours of their life, so it’s worth thinking about how you could make some of that time work for you!

Here are my top tips for ways to keep active during the working day:

1. Look at how you’re getting to work, and whether you can make any changes to add in exercise. It might be cycling to work, or getting off the bus a stop early and power walking the last part.

2. Consider if there are things you can change while you’re at work. I try not to use a lift, no matter how many floors there are. You can nip off to a quiet corner, or the loos to do some squats. Think about doing a quick sprint up and down the stairs every hour.

3. Make the most of your lunchtime. Don’t just sit at your desk, but stretch your legs and get outside for a power walk. See if there are local fitness classes, or go to a local gym and blitz a 30-minute workout. There are apps where you can do seven-minute HIIT sessions, so squeeze in a few. You’ll find you’ll be much more productive during the afternoon as it will give you a boost and help your concentration.

4. Plan ahead to help you commit; at the beginning of the week, make a note in your diary of what you’ll do and when. It’s harder to ignore once you’ve signed up for it. Teaming up with someone at work will help as you can spur each other on.

5. If you really are up against it time-wise, then do it while you’re working. If you’re sat on a long phone call try doing some core exercises holding in your stomach, and some arm exercises. You can even put a resistance band around your legs to do a few strengthening exercises… you may get a few strange looks if anyone’s passing your desk, but your toned legs will be worth it!

Health & Wellbeing