Fitting Exercise Into A Busy Schedule

This past week has certainly been a busy one! I’ve barely had time to post (let alone have a social life), but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been physically active!

Finding the time to exercise may seem impossible when we’re busy. After a long, hectic day working out may be the last thing on your To-Do list.

Here’s a list of simple ways I’ve been able to stay fit and healthy during my crazy work week:

Prioritize

The hardest part is getting started. Getting into a fitness routine is a habit more than anything else. When you have it in your mind that you’re “too tired to work out” or “just don’t have the time” than that is what you will do. If you are really serious about getting in shape, you’ll make exercise a priority. It all begins with a thought to get your plan in motion.

Schedule

The main thing here is timing. Planning your workouts in advance helps you find time you didn’t know you had. Even planning out your meals/snacks can help you from falling off the wagon. I’m not advocating meticulous hour-by-hour planning (…not saying I haven’t done it), but scheduling is crucial to managing your time effectively.

Last semester I juggled taking 6 classes, babysitting 20+ hours a week, interning, sorority (the meetings, events and recruitment…. #tortuous), going out at night AND going to the gym!! I wouldn’t have been able to keep sane (well, partially) or do any of it without scheduling and time management. If YOU don’t manage your time, you’ll become managed by your time – take control and organize!

Start Small

Exercise doesn’t always equate to a sweaty gym session. Most of our day-to-day activities are overlooked in that regard. When you tell yourself “Taking the stairs isn’t going to do anything” you will opt for the elevator. Realize that any physical activity is better than non and as cliche as it sounds, a little bit goes a long way. A few things I found beneficial at the office were:

  • Taking the stairs (the more flights the better)
  • Walking around the building when I had idle time
  • Keeping busy (stand up, organize things, stretch)
  • Going to the furthest cafeteria, bathroom, copy machine, etc.
Utilize Your Lunch Break
Instead of grabbing lunch with your co-workers, get moving!! Come prepared with your workout bag and hit the company’s gym. If that isn’t an option, go for a walk. “Lunch time” doesn’t have to be just that.
Break It Up
You don’t have to complete a workout all at once. Split up exercise to fit into your schedule – 15 minutes here, 20 there…. it adds up. 60 minutes of cardio is 60 minutes of cardio, despite breaks in between. Research has actually shown that breaking up workouts can be more beneficial than completing them all at once. 
Even if your focus isn’t necessarily cardio, you can break up some strength training. A few days last week I’d wake up and do some abdominal exercises for about 10 minutes, come home in the evening and do leg/butt exercises and later in the evening go walk my dog for 20 minutes. If you want to do it, you can.
Stretch
After a long day all I want to do is lay down, unwind and regroup. Instead of laying in my bed and watching tv before bed, stretch while watching tv! Stretching not only helps ease tense muscle, it burns calories. Only 10 minutes of light stretching will burn 30 calories (per 140 lb person) and 30 minutes will burn about 70 calories.
So there you go! We all have the same 24-hours everyday, but what we do with our time is what matters. The whole “I don’t have time to workout” excuse is mostly just that… an excuse

References

http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/6-simple-ways-reach-your-best-body?page=3

http://www.newbeauty.com/blog/dailybeauty/6476-break-up-your-workout-for-the-best-results/

http://www.fitwatch.com/phpscripts/viewexercise.php?descr=mild%20stretching&mets=2.5

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