How to Stay Fit Despite Your Busy Life
No one ever said that fitting in your daily working out was easy. In fact, staying fit with a busy schedule can be very challenging. With our crazy commutes, deadlines at work, school, kids and pets, obligations to friends, we all have excuses that we let get in our way.
We know this seems like a no-brainer, but it’s kind of a key element, and it starts with changing our perception of what working out means. Chaining yourself to the treadmill or getting up at the crack of dawn so that you don’t miss that spin class are both great ways to stay in shape, but they aren’t the only ways. Commit fifteen minutes after work and set the intensity to the max, bring your sneakers to work and take a brisk walk on your lunch break or just park further and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Every little bit counts and all of these things count towards your daily exercise goals.
Skimping out on sleep makes everything more difficult. The last thing you want to do is drag yourself out of bed any earlier than you need to or stay out late to hit the gym after work. Lethargic and fighting the afternoon slump, you are also more likely to make poor food choices and use sugar and caffeine to get the rush you need to get through the day. Resting not only helps keep your energy up, it also gives your body time to recuperate and get stronger. So if you want to make sure to give it your all during your workout, making sure that you get your eight hours is vital.
Cut down on media
Will it really make a difference if you wait to check out your Facebook feed, Twitter account, Instagram pics, Reddit or see what’s new on Netflix? Probably not. Everything that you use to kill time during the day will still be there later, so stop checking your phone every five minutes and get moving!
Wake up earlier
We know this option is by far the least appealing of them all, but don’t dismiss it just yet. People who get their daily routine out of the way first thing in the morning have less time to come up with excuses to skip out on their workout later. The key is to ease into it. Don’t try to get up two hours earlier immediately and attempt to run five miles on the first morning. Instead, set the alarm fifteen minutes earlier every week and build up to a longer, more productive workout.
Actively watch TV
You know that you can’t live without the latest episode of Homeland or pass on the guilty pleasures of one of the Housewives shows, so why not make yourself feel a little better about the indulgence by doubling up that time with a workout. Grab a set of dumbbells to get through an intense scene and alternate between sit-ups and squats during the commercial breaks.
Make your workout a social event
People who make a date to work out with a friend are much more likely to honor the commitment than if they go it alone. So skip happy hour once a week and hit the trails with your friends. The endorphin rush and conversation will still allow you to blow off steam and make you look good in the process.
There will be days, maybe a lot of days in the beginning, where you just have to pencil the workout in and make yourself do it until it becomes habit. Just like you’d put doing laundry or going to the grocery store on your to-do list, make your workout something that you must do. Commit to as little as fifteen minutes and chances are good that it’ll feel so good you’ll push yourself to go just a little bit further.
Love what you do
If you hate running then trying to commit to the treadmill is not going to make you want to stick to your workout. The key is to find something that you love to do so that it doesn’t feel like a workout. Venture out and try new things until you find your perfect workout. You might need the group environment of a crossfit or spin class, the concentration and pace of a yoga class or the fresh air of a guided SUP session. Join a group or go it alone, just find your passion and enjoy your routine.
Just say no
This could be a subcategory of making the time, but we feel it deserves to be listed separately because so many people regularly over-commit themselves. If you don’t have time to make 50 cupcakes for the bake sale at your child’s school on Friday or meet up to help your friend plan her party or check her resume, then just say no. Don’t let guilt or unnecessary obligations get in the way of your success.
Don’t give up!
No one transitions perfectly into a new routine or even maintains their current one 100 percent of the time. You will have days that you are simply too tired or run into problems that force you to skip a workout, and that’s okay. Just keep going and know that every little bit counts until you find the workout that works perfectly for you.