While you try to stick to a regular workout schedule, a busy day can throw a monkey wrench into your plans. Fortunately, a few tips and tricks can help you make time for fitness.
1. Follow the Five Ps
If there’s one motto you stick to, it should be the five Ps of success: Proper planning prevents poor performance. This applies to fitness too, so don’t make workouts optional. If you schedule time for exercise into your day planner, smartphone app, or computer calendar, chances are you’ll follow through. In the wise words of entrepreneur and lifestyle guru Marie Forleo, success comes from keeping your promises to yourself.
2. Make the Most of Your Commute
Live less than five miles from work? Rather than getting behind the wheel, pack your heels into a messenger back, put on your favorite pair of walking shoes, and hoof it. If you take the bus or train to work, get off a few stops early and walk the rest of the way. A brisk walk doesn’t break much of a sweat, and you’ll arrive to work energized and ready for whatever the day brings.
3. Tighten and Tone at Work
People who exercise during the work day are more productive and take fewer sick days, according to research conducted by Science Daily. If you’re stuck behind a desk, bring a pair of light dumbbells to work, and do a few sets of curls or overhead presses throughout the day. To tone and tighten your core, hips, and legs, swap out your office chair for a stability ball for three or four 20-minute intervals.
4. Make Family Time Fitness Time
If you have young children, forget about hiring a sitter for workout time. Get a walk or a run in with the help of a jogging stroller, or walk with a new baby wrapped in a snuggly sling. Involve older kids in fitness time by scheduling family bike rides, hikes, kickball games, or swimming. Introducing kids to fitness early on makes it a habit for life.
5. Move with your BFF
Socializing is important for your emotional health, so don’t skip time with your BFF to work out. Instead of meeting for cocktails, suggest a walk in the park or a game of tennis. Also, co-rec sports leagues and classes like spinning or yoga make a great way to bond with your bestie.
6. Sweat with Your Sweetheart
Could it be true that couples who sweat together stay together? Exercising with your partner boosts happiness in your relationship and helps you better achieve your fitness goals, according to Psychology Today. Instead of dinner and a movie on date night, try taking a nature walk, playing a round of golf, or breaking a sweat at the gym.
7. Make Your TV a Move Tube
At home or on a business trip, making time for fitness doesn’t mean you have to miss your favorite television show. The next time you tune in, make the most of TV time with exercise. Think ball crunches, yoga poses, squats, lunges, or dumbbell and barbell sets. Try doing sit-ups, pushups, or bodyweight squats during every commercial break.
Are you a person who thinks you have to do it all? Two words: You don’t. To make extra time for working out, ask your spouse to cook dinner a few nights a week, and allocate dishwashing to the kids. If you’re a manager at work, keep to an 8-to-5 schedule by asking for help when needed. Delegating at work doesn’t just benefit you; it empowers your employees.
9. Track Your Steps
You might be surprised to find that you’re not as active as you think you are. Nothing dishes out the hard truth like a pedometer. Whether you walk, run, swim, or ride, a pedometer pools your daily exercise into the form of steps for easy tracking. For adequate fitness, most experts recommend 10,000 steps or more each day.
10. Take Ten
When is the best time to work out? Anytime you can make time. No matter how over-scheduled your day, you ought to be able to find at least 10 minutes for exercise. Shoot for a 10-minute walk at lunchtime today, and increase it to 15 minutes tomorrow. Author and weightlifter James Clear says that starting small is the best way to build good habits.