It seems like we all have the best intentions of not only eating healthy, but staying active and fit. While having that desire is vital to our success, we will only meet our goals if we follow through. Sadly, that’s the hard part. Life seems to move faster and faster every week, and most of us find it difficult to make fitness part of our busy schedules.
The good news is that with a little creativity, we can keep our bodies fit and still maintain our busy lives. Here are a few tips to staying fit – even with a hectic schedule.
Shorten your workouts
No, you don’t have to work out for 60 minutes or more to make it count. Even if all you have is 15-30 minutes, you can get in a metabolism-boosting workout before or after work. The key is to choose something that gives you maximum impact in a minimum amount of time. Consider Tabata-style workouts or high-intensity interval training (HIIT). These workouts have been proven effective but can be done in under 30 minutes.
Do what you like
If you hate your workout, chances are you’re going to have a hard time doing it consistently. With your busy schedule, you’ll only complicate things more by planning workouts you dread. If you’d rather dance or play tennis than run, then make that your workout and embrace it. If you enjoy it, you won’t mind so much having to do it early in the morning or after a busy day.
Put it on your calendar
If you want to walk the dog for 30 minutes every weekday before work, don’t just keep those plans in your head. Put it on your calendar, add an alarm to your phone, and tell others about it. Once you’ve found something you enjoy, make a schedule and commit to it. It only takes about 3 weeks to form a habit.
Squeeze it in
If you only have time for a short workout (or none at all) before or after work, then it becomes even more important to squeeze in activity during the day. Your brain could probably use some fresh air during a stressful shift, so take your lunch with you and go for a walk. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Take time for a 2-minute walk or 25 squats or pushups every hour at work. Waiting in line at a store? Nobody will notice if you do butt-squeezes while you’re standing there. Something is always better than nothing!
Spread it out
If you can’t do 30-60 minutes all at once, break your workout up into 2 or 3 segments. Instead of walking for an hour, do 20 minutes on the treadmill before work, 20 at lunchtime, and 20 after dinner. There is no rule that says your workout has to come in one big chunk.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
There’s no reason to get down on yourself for your busy schedule. If you really want to fit in fitness, you can do it. Find an activity that’s doable – even enjoyable – and make your efforts efficient. If you can’t fit in one longer workout, break it up into short sections and squeeze in extra boosts throughout the day. When you make fitness a part of your daily life, it stops feeling like a chore.