There’s no doubt that most of us lead busy lives. Apart from the daily demands posed by jobs, families, and running a household, many of us also have to deal with time-intensive obligations like commuting, preparing meals, and attending to the many communications that occur throughout the day thanks to constant connectivity. And when you’re crunched for time, exercise might be the lowest priority on your long list of to-dos. While you probably realize the importance of physical fitness in your life you might not be aware of how to make it fit into a packed schedule. So here are just a few ways to organize your day in order to accommodate the addition of exercise.
Just say no
The best place to start if you need to clear some space in your schedule is by seeing what you can do without. There are probably plenty of obligations you can’t deny, but if your day is crammed with unnecessary extras because you can’t seem to say “no”, then it’s high time you learned how. Your health is more important than just about anything else, so figure out what you can cut out of your daily regimen in order to squeeze in a workout, even if it means missing “The Biggest Loser” TV show.
Be the early bird (or the night owl)
If you just can’t find a way to pare down your schedule, you may simply have to make more time. And this could mean cutting into your nightly sleep by setting the alarm a little earlier or waiting until the kids (if you have some) are in dreamland to do your workout. In truth, you may find this option appealing since exercise has been proven to help people de-stress and sleep more soundly, making your time in bed more beneficial. Of course, you could also try to get fit on your lunch break.
Less time, more effort
Perhaps the real problem is that you simply don’t have time to get 30 minutes of continuous exercise each day. But the truth is you don’t need 30 minutes each and every day to stay healthy and fit. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of low-intensity cardio, like walking, five times a week or 30 minutes of intense cardio, like running, three times a week. So if you can’t work exercise into your schedule every day, up the intensity to get the most out of the time you do have. If you are looking for an fitness routine already fully laid out, that you can follow religiously, then look into getting a cheap fitness DVD, or follow the 4-week intensity workout program below.
Some people advocate mini-workouts (10 minutes at a stretching routine) to break up a longer exercise into manageable chunks. But the truth is that you need sustained activity to really make a dent in your fitness goals. So if you don’t have time, find ways to make your activities do double duty. So jog around the field while your kids are at soccer practice. Or walk around the perimeter of your office building while you return calls. When you look for ways to work physical activity into your daily routine, you might be surprised by what you come up with.
When every day is comprised of the same droll activities you might start to feel like a DVD duplication service. So spice up your fitness sessions by adding new and exciting activities all the time. Try jogging, hiking, biking, swimming, or even weirdo sports like planking and parkour. When you’re having fun you’re a lot more likely to stick to the program.