It can be a challenge to get workouts in when you work so much. You want to exercise, but it seems like there are many things that end up getting in the way! Here are some tips that will make it easier to stay fit, no matter how busy your life is:)
Plan your workouts ahead of time for the week and put them in your calendar. This is what you do for other important things in your life, so why not for exercise? Prioritizing your workouts like this will lower the chances of scheduling conflicts. The first step is to decide what time is best for you and schedule accordingly:
This is my favorite time to exercise because little is apt to conflict with my 6am workout, except being tired. That is what takes the most discipline – not so much getting up at the crack of dawn but making sure I go to bed 7-8 hours before. Studies show morning exercisers are the most consistent, however, if you develop a new habit of getting to sleep earlier, it is worth it.
Business lunches are a reality for many of my clients, but be more selective – do you really have to schedule a lunch or will a phone call do? Or think out of the box and suggest a walk. You’d be surprised at how many people would prefer to break up their day with a walk instead of lingering over a heavy lunch.
When you do not have a lunch commitment, use that time to go to the gym or for a walk yourself. You will feel energized when you get back to the office! (Bring a washcloth and towel to the office to give yourself a wipe down before going back to work.) Too hot to exercise outdoors? Do the stairs in your building.
In our society, it is expected that most office work will be done sitting down. But why? If I don’t have to take notes, I do all of my conference calls while walking outside. It actually makes me a better participant, since I am not quietly multitasking on my computer like so many people do on calls! I am totally present even if the conversation is boring, because my body is moving.
Since recent studies show that sitting all day is extremely unhealthy even if you spent an hour at the gym, consider buying a treadmill desk, which is a small, quiet treadmill belt that runs under a standing desk and allows you to work at your computer and do phone calls while walking. I’ve had mine for 6 years, and it is the best gift I ever bought myself! (Yes I am on it right now, writing). Move between walking and sitting throughout the day .¨ you will have more energy and a brighter mood.
If you work out in the evenings, bring exercise clothes with you to the office so you can go straight to your workout. One of my clients has found a Pilates studio between his office and home, which makes it convenient to exercise on weeknights. DO NOT go home first- you’ll find too many distractions there and it will be very hard to get back out again for your workout.
If you have to go straight home because of family commitments, you can still get your exercise in later: instead of lounging on the couch while you watch television (we Americans seem to find plenty of time to watch TV each day), get moving! I do yoga in front of my favorite shows, but you can also bring out a stationary bike or free weights to create a workout of your own as you watch TV.
Going for a walk with your partner or kids is also a great way to spend quality time together instead of everyone going off to their separate screen. We live in Southern California, so weather is not an excuse!
While your life is most certainly chock full of commitments, you can most definitely find time to be more active if you think creatively and are willing to make exercise a priority in your busy life. You will feel better, look better and you’ll have fun too!
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