Let’s face it: we all have busy schedules. As much as we’d like to believe that we can exercise once we get that one project done or commit to our diet just after we get through this busy month, we also need to be realistic. Our schedules are going to maintain their busy pace, and workouts aren’t going to happen unless we plan. Fortunately, there are plenty of benefits to working out — benefits that will actually help you with your busy lifestyle!
It may seem counterintuitive that adding something to your schedule will help you relax and manage stress better, but when it comes to working out it’s true. Regular exercise will boost your happiness levels and energy, improve your sleep and memory and increase productivity and self-confidence — plus, all of these benefits will help you in your life outside the gym. You’ll have more energy to complete tasks quicker and your quality of life will rapidly improve.
It’s hard though, right? Between getting the kids to and from school, getting to work on time, and getting dinner on the table — not to mention much more — you might be wondering how it’s even possible to scrawl one more thing onto your to-do list. By following these five easy tips, you’re sure to experience success (both in and out of the gym).
Workout at work
If you have time, turn your commute into a workout by biking, walking or running to work. Transform your lunch break by taking a walk during those coveted 60 minutes of the day instead of eating lunch at your desk. Listen to a podcast, talk with a friend or just enjoy the silence! If your company has an on-site gym, you could even bring your workout clothes and lift weights, do yoga or fit in some cardio.
Choose a consistent time
There’s a reason fitness experts recommend working out first thing in the morning: you’ll get the task done early, you can’t make excuses later and you’ll enjoy its benefits all day long. However, if getting up early really isn’t possible for you, then just commit to a consistent time each day. Make a schedule and stick to it, and you’ll be set up for success. Setting and achieving your goals will also motivate you to keep going.
Identify your excuses
Do you hate running? Does the hassle of driving to the gym, changing, working out, showering and getting ready provide too many opportunities for you to back out? Whatever your excuses are, identify them and come up with a plan of attack. If running (or another workout) just isn’t your thing, choose an exercise you enjoy and start there. Hate the process of going to and from the gym? Work out at home or during your lunch break.
Implement the buddy system
Whether it’s a friend you run with every day or an out-of-state friend who keeps you accountable, the buddy system can help. You could even sign up for a new workout class together — like yoga, pilates or barre rhythm — and commit to it once or twice per week. You’ll make new friends, sweat out the stress and get in better shape — all while being held accountable by your friend.
Try a group fitness class
Boutique fitness studios are popping up all over the nation. From CrossFit to cycling, yoga, Pilates and barre, there seems to be something for everyone in a group setting. One benefit of group classes is that they keep you committed. You booked your class and you made those plans with a friend — you’re going to go. And if you go? Your health will change. Another great benefit to group fitness classes from smaller studios is the expert coaching. You always have a qualified, certified fitness professional guiding you every step of the way. It’s like having a personal trainer, but for a fraction of the cost.
Working out doesn’t have to be one more stressful thing on your to-do list. By using these strategies, you can work out consistently and reap the benefits on a daily basis. Get started today!
Photo Credit: David Gillette