“I don’t have the time,” is the number one reason people give when asked why they don’t exercise. This is a sad, and very poor excuse if you ask me! There are 24 hours in a day, which means a one hour workout is 4% of your day. And if you are efficient, you don’t even need 1 hour a day for a workout. Working out for 45-60 minutes, 3-5 times a week, is what is recommended to decrease risk of health problems as well as gain the everyday benefits of exercise, such as more energy and weight loss! I understand that we all get busy. Unexpected events arise, as well as juggling kids/work/school etc, I get it. That does not mean you or your health should have to take the back burner on life. It’s time to take responsibility for your actions and thoughts and put yourself first. It is not about HAVING the time, it is about MAKING the time. How bad do you want to fit into that size 6 jean, or be able to walk up the stairs without being winded? Here are 6 ways to easily add exercise into your already busy routine.
1. Wake Up Earlier
We all love our beauty sleep, but sometimes we have to sacrifice. If you begin to go to bed earlier, you can train yourself to wake up earlier (internal alarm clocks are good sometimes). So make the sacrifice, skip the last late night show in bed to get up earlier and be productive! If it helps you to lay out your clothes the night before and set 5 alarms, then do it. Whatever works for you is going to be different from the next person, so try it all. No one EVER regrets crossing a workout off their “to-do” list early in the morning, in fact, rarely do we regret workouts at all. So get up, get your sweat on and feel accomplished before everyone else is even awake!
2. Use Your Lunch Break Wisely
It is actually a law to give your employees a 15 minute break if they work 4.5 hours, and a 30 minute break if their shift is 6 or more hours. That means, you have time to get a workout in. Yes, I understand eating is important too. But if you work a job that you can eat at your desk while continuing to work, then you can use your “lunch break” to get a quick workout in. Bring all your workout gear to work with you and make up your mind the night before that you’re going to workout at lunch the next day. It is also becoming more and more common for people to just work through their lunch break because they are swamped. Don’t do it. Take those 30 minutes you earned and do something for yourself. Take the break to reset your mind and give you the energy you need to finish out the day.
3. Plan Efficient Workouts
You do not need to spend endless hours in the gym to get a good workout in. 45-60 minutes is the perfect amount of time, and even less if you chose a high intensity option. So plan it out. On days you have a little bit more time, use those as weight training days. On the days you have less time, opt for a high intensity circuit or plyometrics. If you plan your workout out ahead of time, you are more likely to follow through with it, and spend less time wandering around or thinking about what to do. So plan it out, write it all down. Match your workouts with your schedule and be prepared, not only does this save time, but it will also motivate you to go get it done since you spent the time to plan it out.
4, Make it An Appointment
If you are someone who gets lost in their work and spend 10-12 hours a day working, pencil yourself in. If you find it hard to peel yourself away from your work during the day, or even after you get home, put your workout into your calendar so you remind yourself that it’s time for you now. Exercise not only benefits you and your health, but it also benefits your boss in a sense that employees who regularly exercise actually have more energy and are more productive throughout the day than those who don’t. So plan a workout into your day, even before or after work, and if a problem arises with your boss or a client, pull out some scientific knowledge on them and they won’t be able to disagree with you. Like any other meeting, working out is important. So if you tell yourself that you have a meeting (at the gym) you’ll likely stick to it. No boss cancels an important meeting, so don’t cancel on your workout.
5. Workout At Home
No one said you can’t workout at home. Whether it be in your living room, basement, backyard; all you need is a small space and you can have a great workout. You have no equipment? Just do some research on the internet and find a workout or exercises that don’t need equipment. Have kids? Find a workout that includes the little ones, or workout during nap time. Live in an apartment? Pick exercises that don’t include too much jumping or slamming. There are SO many workouts on the internet, just pick one and press play. After 20-30 minutes you’ll be sweating in the comfort of your own home without taking the time to commute to a fitness center.
6. Ditch the Elevator, or the Ride
The smallest changes make a world of difference. A few extra steps during the workday, every day, can add up to big things. Take the stairs, all the time. The elevator or escalator do not save THAT much time that you can’t take the stairs and expend some energy. If you carry a whole lot of stuff or have a hurt leg, I get it. But other than that, it’s just an excuse. Have a few extra minutes in the morning? Walk to work instead of taking public transportation. If work is too far to walk, get off a few stops early or park a little further away. These small things every day can make a big change in how you look at exercise. Even if this is all you start with for exercise, it’s still a start. After a while you will slowly begin to add in more and more. And soon you’ll be leaving gym shoes at work so you can run home!
There you have it, 6 ways you can add exercise into your already crazy busy schedule. And if you STILL can’t seem to fit working out into your routine/schedule, try getting a personal trainer to hold you accountable! They have very flexible schedules and are even usually willing to move things around to make sure they fit you in. It is so important to take time for you, every day, to do the things you like or that make you feel good. And as much as you want to convince yourself that you hate exercising or working out, you know that it makes you feel better and more energized. Make yourself a priority. If someone who works 50+ hours a week in a corporate job and has a side gig they are trying to grow into a business has the time to work out, then so do you. Stop making excuses, and start making changes. It all starts with one small gesture. So don’t wait for a new week, a new month, or a new year, just START now, and you won’t regret it.
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