Something I often hear from friends, family and coworkers is, "I don't have the time to exercise, I'm too busy..." This is something that I have a hard time hearing. I understand the statement, I too, have even said these exact words at one time. However, if you are choosing to a healthier lifestyle, changes need to be made. Finding the time to exercise is difficult for us, so how can we balance a busy and a healthy lifestyle?
- Make exercising a priority. This is number one in my book. If you want to spent time with the girls on Friday night, you will make sure that you get all of your errands done prior to going out. Right? Well, the same should go for exercise. If you truly want to commit to losing weight or training for a 5k, you need to be true to yourself and do just that, commit. I guess the next question is, how do I commit to a chunk of time spent exercising, when I have so many other things to do! Well, now we are ready to move on to #2...
- Create a schedule. Making a list the night before of all of the tasks or commitments you have helps when trying to fit exercise into that agenda. For me, if I know that I have a busy day coming up, I make sure that I get my exercise in early. Again, it goes back to priority...if it is important enough to you, you will make sure that it gets done. And if getting your workout in before 7am is the case, then make sure that you are in bed early enough so that you will in fact get up early to exerise. Life is all about balance, you need to find yours. Often, I find that making a list of my to-do's helps me re-evaluate what my priorities really are. Allow yourself to spread some of the tasks out throughout the week (if possible). You will meet your goal if you do not over-exert yourself. Find the time of day that works best with your schedule to exercise.
- Short workouts are okay: You have an early morning appointment, back to back meetings, commitments after work, what do you do? Allow yourself to take on a shorter workout. Believe it or not, exercise wakes the brain and has been proven to improve daily performance, even with a brief work out. Short workouts are a great way to mix up your weekly routine. Use this time to do high intensity runs--Fartleks or Track sprints are great for this. It's more about getting out and moving than anything else! I always say, something is better than nothing!
- Rest Day: Allow yourself to take rest days. If you truly feel like you need a day to recuperate, listen to your body and do so. Rest days however, are not an excuse to eat garbage and to not do anything. Rest days are for allowing your body to take a break from your intensive training regime. Use this time to do things like taking a long walk with a friend or partner or making an extra effort to be active. Try parking your car further away from the store so that you walk a little further or take the stairs at work instead of the elevator. They are small steps but they truly help. Cross training is great for rest days too, try yoga or pilates--both share great exercises used to build your core muscles and to relax the body.
- Share your plan: When you share your commitment with friends, family and significant others, typically, they will want to support you. Make sure that they know the time you spend with them is valuable but this too, is something that means very much to you and it needs to be a priority. Those that love you, will understand and support you! They want to see you make it to your goal as much as you do. (Yes, I'll do whatever you say Mr. Gosling.)
What steps do you take when you are in a time crunch? Do you have certain exercises or plan on these days? Please share them!