Many people cite a lack of time as a major barrier to making a fit lifestyle stick over the long-term.
If this is your case, don’t despair. There are many ways to include exercise in your day-to-day life — no matter how busy you are. Here are some tips that might work for you:
Analyze your day to day routine
Eliza Nelson, ACE-certified personal trainer and orthopedic exercise specialist affirms: “I would encourage people who are looking to add exercise into their lifestyle to take an honest look at where they are spending their time, and how much value or benefit what they are doing is adding to their lives at the moment,”.
Analyze your daily routine and you may find out that the time you thought you were spending on work is mostly eaten up by distractions. You can probably find spots to free up for exercise once you identify exactly where your time is going.
Take it slow
Committing to a workout doesn’t mean you need to take hours out of your day,” says Holly Janiszewski, a Minneapolis-based personal trainer. In fact, you can get an efficient workout in 30 minutes, she adds. If you can’t manage it all at once you can even break your workout into smaller chunks to be done throughout the day; don’t discount the effectiveness of exercising 10 minutes here and there.
All adults aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio (i.e., walking), as well as two days of muscle-strengthening activity per week, as suggested by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. But you should do what you can, stating that even five minutes of physical activity offers real health benefits. “These little things add up, and as you realize that they are doable and that they have an effect on how you feel, you will feel motivated to continue them or even add other habits into your routine,” Nelson says.
You need a plan
Even if your plan is as simple as walking on the treadmill for 10 minutes and working through a few sets of dumbbell squats and chest presses, you can maximize your time in the gym (or at home) by planning your workout in advance. Find out if your gym offers a complimentary assessment or personal training session if you don’t know where to start or how to use the equipment. Nelson says: “This can, at the very least, familiarize you with the equipment, and you can get a few pointers on different movements you can try,”.
If you’re a morning person, getting up earlier than usual could be a great way to fit in a workout, while starting your day off on a healthy note. Try waking up just 15 minutes earlier and doing a quick yoga or strength routine if you’re having a tough time coaxing yourself out of bed. Adjust this change to your routine and lifestyle.
What change are you going to make in your routine in order to make more time to exercise?