Finding time to workout can be difficult.
It shouldn’t be, really, because an hour is 4% of your day. A half hour workout would be 2%. A 28 minute workout – you get the idea!
All the same, we all have competing demands in our life – work, school, kids, commitments, dreaded life admin and also (hopefully!) friends. These days, with e-mail, whatsapp and smartphone mania, we are rarely unplugged and time is a scarcer resource than ever. Ironically, exercise gets neglected amid our other stresses, when actually being under so much strain makes it more important than ever.
The trick is to really think about your day, your priorities, and then to be honest with yourself. Try some of these to help you make more time for that all-important sweat session.
A stitch in time
Where can you find more time? Try this:
- Get up half an hour earlier
- Go to bed later!
- Workout instead of watching Netflix
- Workout while watching Netflix
- Zumba or do dance cardio around your kitchen while cooking
- Take the stairs in the office, not the lift
- Get off your tube/bus one stop early and walk
- Run/cycle into work one day per week – you’d be commuting anyway, and an early start/late arrival is usually do-able once per week!
- Make a Saturday/Sunday afternoon date with yourself to go for a swim then jump in the gym jacuzzi, or go for a run then make that healthy protein pancake recipe you’ve been eyeing for months…
- Take a 3 minute break from your desk or day 7 times a day – no one will miss you for 3 minutes! Go for a brisk walk, jog, or, in an office environment, get creative in the loos with squats, lunges, sumo squats, star jumps… and if you have the space, walking lunges, even burpees! 3 x 7 = 21 minutes. 5 x 21 = 105 minutes a week. Boom. Nicely done.
- Every time you go to the bathroom, do 15 squats, and 10 lunges per leg.
- Take your lunch hour! Stop sitting at your desk. It will benefit your employer in the long run… if you go for a run, cycle, half hour gym class or brisk walk daily or even a few times a week, you’ll be healthier, happier, more productive, and less likely to take sick days. An hour off makes you much more efficient in the afternoon, so really you’re maximising your output. Honest, boss.
Change your mindset
Change the way you think about your workout – make it a ‘non-negotiable’ in the same way as a work meeting or brushing your teeth would be! If it helps, make it a date with yourself in your Outlook or diary, and set alarms on your phone. Studies show even 15 minutes a day will help you reap the benefits!
Find your sweat-spirit-animal
Morning, night, or pick’n’mix?
Are you a night owl, an early bird, or a chamelon?!
If mornings don’t horrify you, start setting your alarm 40 minutes earlier. It’s not a painful difference from your usual start, but will allow you a quick 30 minute workout with 10 minutes to freshen up. It’s a great way to kick start and energise yourself for the day.
If you’re a night owl, make it something you do straight away when you get home from work, or getting the kids from school – or even head straight to the gym. While some studies show working out in the morning can burn more calories as your body is ‘fasted’, you don’t get this benefit if you don’t work out at all! And these studies are not conclusive, either. So get your workout in late, if that is what suits you. Getting your sweat on will torch those calories and release those endorphins just the same at night, and help you sleep better too!
If your schedule is erratic and requires constant adaptation, you can mix it up, and even squeeze 20 – 30 minutes into your lunch hour. The benefits of a routine / regular slot are that it is easier to stick to, but this won’t work for everyone, so don’t feel guilty about having to be flexible. This may just mean that you need to be extra strong.
Think about your fitness as something you do for yourself, to help focus, meditate, relieve stress and invest in yourself. Talk about it in a positive way, and encourage yourself to look forward to it. Visualise your goals, and remember that post-workout high feeling. Ditch the negative language, and the ‘I wish I could come for a drink, but I’ve got to go to the gym’ mentality. You won’t always feel like it, but try to help psych yourself in. It’s better than psyching yourself out!
It sounds superficial, but it really works. Get excited about your workout wardrobe. When you’ve completed your goal of X workouts per week for X weeks, reward yourself with that gorgeous new sports bra (I’m in love with Victoria’s Secret Sport!), the new Nikes you’ve had your eye on, or that cute waterbottle or accessory (I’m just loving the Paperchase Get Fit collection). The reward doesn’t have to be fitness related, but it helps keep you in the zone!
It’s a good idea not to reward yourself with food, as you don’t want to train your body to think of a one-cancelling-out-the-other mentality, although healthy post-workout snacks are no bad thing – try some of the recipes here!
Keep a workout diary
Logging your workout and how you feel afterwards makes you feel accountable – sounds silly, but you may often find your want to work out so you can update your log! Instagram now allows you to link two accounts, so you can start a separate fitness focused account if you don’t want to post your gym selfies and post-workout shake pictures to everyone on your personal feed!
Check in online
There are plenty of hashtags on twitter and instagram you can browse for inspiration, including #fitfam, #kaylaitsines, #toneitup and #blogilates. Checking in with these communities helps you stay motivated and on track, and it’s a lovely way to find an accountability buddy.
Now it’s time to put these into practice… no more reading : ) Go sweat, go sparkle.