Exercise tips for the time-poor

07 April 2021

Like to get more active but feel you don’t have enough time to do it?

We hear you. Work, school, errands and family can add up to a busy schedule. But experts say there are ways to squeeze regular exercise into a busy life – all you need is a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity, five days a week.

Here are some tips we have compiled to help you get up and get moving.

Active commuting

Recent Census data shows that, when it comes to getting to work, four out of five New Zealanders living in big cities usually prefer to drive.

But active commuting boasts proven health benefits. According to recent research by the University of Edinburgh, in the UK, walking and cycling to work can reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease, some cancers, and Type II diabetes.

If you commute every day, you’re already “moving.” You just need to turn that into an exercise opportunity. Inspo magazine recommends cycling or walking to work as a way to foster a healthier lifestyle.

Of course, Inspo notes, using public transport or taking a stroll to the office may not be possible for everyone. But “while it’s not suitable for long-distance travellers, even walking to a further away bus stop or walking on days where the weather is better can be an option.”


What if you could turn your house chores into exercises? That’s exactly what some fitness bloggers recommend.

“It’s all about maximising the effort you put into these chores,” says Budding Optimist, Sabrina Wang. “So reach higher with your broom, extend further with your vacuum, and put in some serious elbow grease wherever you can.”

As boring as they may seem, domestic chores can be an opportunity to be active. You may even finish faster – but do at least 30 minutes to ensure your body is burning calories.

Build a home gym

Sometimes, especially after a long day at work, half the battle of going to the gym is going there. So if your space allows it, you may want to have your own gym equipment at home.

Your home gym is always available, ready for you when you are. Plus, you can use the time you’d have been spent travelling to and from the gym to exercise.

Set a target – or not

Fitting more fitness time into your day-to-day routine is hard enough – but without a target to aim for, it can also feel pointless.

You may have a special event marked in your calendar, a holiday or a charity run – something you’d like to feel at your best for it. That’s your milestone, and for some, setting milestones is key to staying motivated – even when life gets hectic.

However, setting goals doesn’t work for everyone. According to some studies reported by Stuff.co.nz, “important aspects of the theory around goal-setting seem to have been oversimplified, overlooked, or misunderstood.”

Research found that, while setting fitness goals works well for people who are already active, for people starting out “specific goals were no more effective at increasing physical activity than vague goals such as to simply ‘be more active’.”

Find what works for you – whether it’s taking on a challenge or just proving something to yourself.

Protecting your financial fitness

We may not prepare you for the next fun run, but just like personal trainers, we can help you focus on your financial fitness.  Get in touch to talk about your Insurances or let us know what other goals you have in mind.

Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.

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