Work, family, social, and personal time all come at a cost these days, because in order to make time for one you’ve got to shorten the length of time spent focusing on another area of your life. This leaves little time for fitness, and for those who view it as a burden, there’s also less motivation to become involved and get healthy. Of course, a big part of finding successful ways to work out between other obligations comes from personal motivation, which means that you’ve got to find that little voice inside of you that pushes you to do the things you need to do to exercise and eat better. For a few ideas about how you can go about squeezing some cardio and weights into your routine, check out the following information.
Utilize Your Lunch Break
Okay, so it may not exactly be your favorite option, but giving up some of your lunch break can go a long way to give you that much needed time to get fit. Not only will it re-energize you before you take on the second half of your day, but it allows you to head home after work feeling guilt free and a little happier for the effort that you put in. Marianne Magno of Fitness Magazine writes:
Make use of your precious 60 minutes by hitting the gym or going for a walk. Not only will it keep your waistline in check, you’re also proven to be more productive during the day by logging off for an hour than you would be by eating lunch at your desk.
To make the transition easier on yourself, find a nearby gym within walking distance to your office, or look into a personal trainer if you have the money. A trainer also means having to commit to a time and place for a meeting each day, which keeps you liable for your new found regimen.
Choose A Healthier Commute
This is one of the most obvious ways to better utilize your time throughout the day and get fit without cancelling any appointments or taking on extra commitments after the work day ends. Walking to the office makes a big difference in your life, both in your physical shape, and also in your level of energy. Over time you might be able to switch to a jog or a run, especially if you have the facilities to shower once you arrive. If it isn’t close enough to walk, you can ride your car, a bus, or the subway part way and get off at a stop far enough away that you still have to exert some energy to get there each day. Or consider investing in a bicycle; this form of transit is becoming more and more popular, with bike lanes on roads and bike racks on buses and all along business districts for parking and locking up your ride.
Learn To Multitask
Part of getting healthy comes with making sacrifices and finding the time where none may have existed before. This can mean multitasking a little bit, like when you should be reading a report, grading papers, or even reading for enjoyment. You don’t have to give up on all of your leisure activities like television time or the daily paper. Instead, find a way to make it fit together with some form of exercise. Stationary bikes and home machines such as treadmills and elliptical trainers make it easy to set up camp in front of a television. Susan Braun of Wahm.com says:
Multitasking can cause stress in an already busy schedule, but it’s a wonderful idea when you are trying to fit exercise into your life. A reading stand on a stationary bike gives you a perfect way to combine exercise with reading.
If you don’t have the money or space to make this kind of machinery a part of your house, then bring a book, magazine, or some paperwork to the local gym with you to exercise in a place where there’s even more equipment available.
Get Active During Down Time
You probably don’t make an effort to think about how exercise and fun time can be linked together, but you can find more than just books and television to use as work out fodder. Believe it or not, modern technology now allows you to get healthy while you play video games. Not only are there very specific cardio and weight training programs you can purchase to help you lose weight, but there are also multiple games out there that require you to get up and move around in order to win. Dancing competitions, sports games, and other interactive tools can get you up and active without making it feel like work. Katie of girlmeetsnourishment.com explains:
Play music and dance while you cook dinner; play an intense round of mini-golf; go outside a play with your pup. Whatever you enjoy that gets you up and moving.
Rock climbing, swimming, tennis, and various other sporty choices for fun time will also lead you down a patch that results in stronger muscles and a more defined figure, so don’t turn your nose up at getting out in the yard with your kids to pass around a ball.
Even with all of the above advice, you’ve got to figure out what works for you, and motivate yourself to make the time necessary to get fit. This is something that should be a life change, not a quick fix before putting everything back to the way that it is. Take out your day planner and schedule yourself some time to do what needs to be done. Alexandra Finkel of The Nest advises:
You already know working out a few times each week is as important as a client meeting or brunch with the girls. Add workout time to your calendar for the week, so you won’t double-book yourself.
Remember that these exercise routines don’t need to be extremely long or intense, even something as simple as a walk with your spouse in the evening after supper, or a quick game of basketball with the guys from work can get you onto the right track.