Why You DO Have Time to Work Out
When you have a million things on your to-do list, it’s easy to forget about the importance of taking care of yourself - what's one missed workout between friends, really?
Research has long shown that exercising can both boost your productivity and alleviate stress when life is feeling impossibly frantic.
Use these tips for getting more exercise in without having to either work or think too hard about it:
1. Signing up for fitness classes
Most of us tend to treat a fitness class booking in the same way we would a meeting or appointment; you sign up to be at a designated location at a designated time where being late (awkward) or missing it completely (late cancellation fee, being pulled up on it the next time you show your face at the gym, etc.) mostly guarantees your attendance.
Along with making the commitment to making it to said class, it also means that you know exactly what's coming; a 50-minute class rather than an undetermined amount of time on the machines in the gym or a ....-minute walk in your local area.
This makes it easier to work around + you are less likely to allow your plans to be interfered with, unless absolutely necessary.
As an added bonus, with someone else in charge of your workout, you KNOW it'll be an efficient one!
2. Multitasking your workouts
Downloading your favourite show or latest binge-watch to your phone or tablet thus making it super-easy to kill two birds with one stone...
3. Find a "workout" buddy
When you find yourself with the time to get drinks or go to the gym, but not for both, socialise while exercising: Instead of getting drinks with friends, suggest going window shopping, ie. movement you hadn't accounted for + catch up with your bestie. BOOM!
Research has suggested that our likelihood and duration of workout is increased when we exercise with a friend - so you might end up getting a better workout than if you were working out alone.
4. Getting better/more sleep
Now, hear us out... There is method to the madness...
A large chunk of us operate on a less-than-ideal amount of sleep - between work, family, and our social lives (social media) etc., we are all just trying to squeeze as much out of the day(s) as we can.
Planning your time could be seen as an integral part of a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally.
Being able to establish a better sleep-pattern (read: get to bed at a better time) could be the last piece of the puzzle, if you're trying to get a workout in before you head to work in the AM.
Knowing you've started your day by fitting some exercise in before the day has even really started is sure to be a mood boost, too!
5. No more shortcuts
In a bid to "give" ourselves a bit of extra time, we constantly look for the hack to shave off a few precious seconds/minutes.
This is, in all reality, a mistake as these are also the tasks that could introduce more movement into our lives without actually expending much more energy...
Parking, toilets, and shortcuts - all our pet peeves require more effort than they should (aka than we would like). But that's exactly what we need to get moving more.
6. Admin on the go
If it were a toss-up between doing all those annoying little life-admin tasks and getting a workout in, the logical answer would be to prioritise calling your energy provider or making changes to your mobile phone contract.
However, what about getting to do both? Going for a stroll in the sunshine whilst sorting your life out would surely take (some of) the sting out of the inevitable hold music you'll be exposed to + it counts towards your physical activity goals.
The same goes for getting on top of your emails - today, most smart phones will give you access to these on the go, meaning you could reply anytime, anywhere.
7. Walk the extra mile
Hop off the tube/train or bus a stop earlier than you normally would - it gives you a little extra time, maybe to yourself or for ticking off some of the things that you deliberately left of your to-do list for the day because you wouldn't be able to find the time, like calling your mum/dad/friend...
Aside from that, you are working in extra steps that you wouldn't otherwise have taken by getting off at your usual stop.
It may take you 5-10 minutes longer to get to your destination but at the end of the day, do you really feel that 5-10 minutes shaved off at the other end?
All of these tips are great but what if you really DON'T have the time?
- Isolate muscles whilst you queue - focus on a couple of key areas you want toned; stretch your calf muscles by slowly coming up onto your toes - STOP - then slowly come back down again... Simple and better than doing nothing...
- Put on some music and dance around your living room.
- When at work, make a point of leaving your desk at regular intervals - this is not just useful for clearing your head but also for getting your body moving when you wouldn't necessarily think to do so.
- Working your core whilst sitting at your desk simply by being aware of your posture
and lastly but, perhaps, most importantly:
- GET YOUR WATER IN! As science tells us, mild dehydration can affect your mood and make it feel like everything is that much harder. Make sure you are able to access water throughout the day whether it's on your desk, in your bag - we may roll our eyes but it is so important for us all to keep our water intake high.
So, you don’t have enough time to exercise? No worries! There are still plenty of ways for you to get in a workout or two every week.
Sign up for fitness classes that fit your schedule.
Get creative with how you work out at home by combining exercise and down-time into one session Find a workout buddy who has the same goal as you do so that it becomes less about “workout time” and more about “hanging out time”.
Make sure you're getting better/more sleep to leave you better equipped to take on a busy work schedule.
Working out is made up of so many different elements, you just need to find one that works for YOU.