Fitting fitness into a busy schedule

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Fitting fitness into a busy schedule

In a perfect world, we’d all have at least an hour a day to devote to our fitness. But in the real world, 24 hours a day doesn’t seem like nearly enough time to fit in work, school, and family.

We’re all crunched for time.  Our days fill up with work, kid’s activities, daily chores, and oh yes, exercise.  Wait – so how do busy people fit in exercise?  Believe it or not, many do and they have certain secrets that help them make it happen. 

Maintaining a regular, consistent routine of working out is one of the most important healthy lifestyle habits one can do.  And in a perfect world, we’d all have at least an hour a day devoted to fitness. But, few of us have that luxury when trying to get everything else done.  Yet it is possible. Start thinking of it as investing in yourself.  You take the time to make the time to squeeze in that burst of physical activity that is integral to your health and well-being. 

Below are ways in which even the busiest of people manage to keep active exemplifying a healthy work-life balance:

·      Make workouts efficient

Find workouts you can do anywhere you may be.  Whether traveling on business, at work, or hanging out at home, choose exercises that either requires little in terms of equipment or time.  Simple moves like jumping rope, doing pushups or planks, squats, or even running in place can make exercise more efficient overtime.  Also explore what time of day you function best – are you an early riser?  Then maybe a morning workout is for you.  If you have a particularly busy day at work, again exercising before heading to your job rather than risk being too tired after to work to hit the gym is most likely in your best interest. 

·      Have a routine schedule and stick to it

Schedules keep most of us, well, on schedule.  The same is true for exercise.  If we know that each day we are going to commit from 7-8 pm as our time to work out, we are more likely to keep that commitment making it happen.  Think of it like this – if you pick your child up from school at a certain time each day, you are going to stick to that routine since it is a priority.  Make exercise a priority too.  Write down your schedule for exercising, post it and stick to it.

·      Get in some form of exercise everyday

Getting and keeping in shape does not have to take hours every day.  But it is important to find ways to fit in exercise even if they only last a few minutes.  Talking on your cellphone?  Get up and take a walk for the entire conversation.  Set a timer to remind yourself to get up every 30 minutes to move.  Practice squats, lunges, planks, pushups, or lift hand weights during commercial breaks on TV. We may think we have no time but each of us can find a few free minutes in our day.

·      If able, turn your commute into a form of exercise

If possible, why not turn your daily commute into your daily workout?  Biking or walking burns calories, saves cash, and is eco-friendly.  This is the ultimate in multitasking to getting in better shape. 

·      Turn lunch hour into workout time

Most of us have an hour for lunch and most of us are not eating the entire length of that time.  Why not utilize this part of this precious time to working out.  Maybe your worksite has its own gym or there is a gym nearby.  Or maybe you could go on a brisk 10-minute walk.  Make use of this time to reinvigorate yourself to tackle the second half of the day.

·      Make use of stair climbing

When you have to choose between an elevator, escalator, or a flight of stairs, choose the stairs.  Stair climbing is a perfect way to target your glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings, getting them tighter while building muscle.

·      Include the kids

For all those with young kids at home, be sure to include your kiddos when working out.  Invest in a jogging stroller to get you miles in without paying big bucks for a babysitter.  For extra resistance while doing squats, strap your youngster into a carrier and you’ll be shaping your glutes and thighs into better shape than ever.