How do I make time for regular workouts? It’s a question that I’m asked a lot. I live a busy life. The odds are that you do, too. In fact, I don’t think I know anybody who doesn’t live a busy life.
I know people who are retired and whose lives are even busier than mine (and I’ve taken on about as much as I know how to handle). Still, despite the fact that the current norm is to max out every moment of our schedules, it’s still very important to exercise regularly.
Regular Workouts are a Priority
I take my workouts extremely seriously. I know that if I start letting them go, there goes all the weight loss I’ve been maintaining. I also know that, as crazy as it might sound, my energy levels will fall through the floor. I have way too much going on in my life to want to go through that or to have to start from scratch in getting fit again.
Tricks I use to Keep on Top of My Regular Workouts
To make sure that I get at least 5 regular workouts per week, even when I’m so busy I’m not sure what to do with myself, I use the following tricks:
High intensity interval training (HIIT)
This isn’t my favorite type to include in my regular workouts because it’s hard, but I still love it because I can complete my entire workout in half the time. I usually do a half hour workout, but HIIT lets me cut that back to fifteen minutes or even ten minutes if I really push myself.
This type of workout has you putting everything you have into your exercises, with small breaks or easy exercises in between. For example, it makes me sprint as hard as I possibly can for a minute before walking at a slow pace and then picking it back up again. It’s super hard, but before I know it, it’s over and I can move on to the next part of my schedule.
Set a challenge
I find that workout challenges drive me. The key is to choose the right challenge. For daily activities, I like 10 or 14 day challenges. For activities where there are days off, I like thirty day challenges. To motivate me to keep up my regular workouts even when I’m very busy, I assign a thirty day challenge to myself, where I need to get in six days of exercise (some cardio, some strength training, some yoga) per week. Once that’s done, I start a new challenge. This keeps me going toward my goal because I don’t want to ruin my challenge achievement. Especially when I have a reward for myself at the end! When I face a particularly tough challenge, taking a supplement for energy before I exercise really makes a difference.
Make it a habit
I make my workout a normal part of my day. As long as it’s a regular part of my routine, I do it without even questioning it. In the morning, I get up, make coffee, eat breakfast, do my workout, take my shower, get the kids ready and head to work. It’s how I do it on weekdays and don’t question it. On the weekends, I do yoga before bed. Because it’s part of my daily rituals, it’s easier to fit it in.
Break it Up
There are times when my day gets too full, right from the beginning. It happens to the best of us. Even when I make sure my regular workouts stay at the top of my priority list, there are times when they simply have to get bumped. Every now and then, I face the unexpected. I’ll get stuck in traffic going to or from work. Something will happen that needs to be dealt with right away. Or, someone unexpected will drop by, and I’ll get to have a coffee with them.
Regular workouts don’t mean that I have to dump everything else that is important to me. Of course, I’m going to deal with that urgent issue at work. Of course, I’m going to agree to meet an old friend who is suddenly in town, even though I wasn’t expecting to see them. The trick is to fit in little bits of exercises where I can. If I have five minutes to spare, I’ll do some brisk walking, running on the spot or even jumping jacks. They add up!
If I know in advance that I’m going to have a very busy day, I’ll always make the workout the first thing I do in the morning (after my coffee and breakfast, of course). Lately, my days have been steadily busy, so – as I mentioned in my point about making a habit out of my exercises – I’m consistently doing workouts even before the rest of my day gets started. I don’t consider myself to be a morning person, but it gets the job done.
It means that no matter what else happens throughout the rest of the day, I’ll have taken the time to do my exercises right at the start. They’re done and over with, so whether I get stuck with an extra project at work or stuck in traffic on the way home and lose a lot of time, I’ll already have that activity crossed off my list.