Fitness Time Management

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Fitness time managementWe all lead busy lives. I’ve heard all the excuses in the world!

I’m too busy with work/family/social calendar
I’m too tired to workout after a long day
The gym is too far from my house
I just had my hair styled and don’t want to mess it up”.
Does that sound familiar? Well for each excuse, there’s a solution, so now you can’t get away with anything.  Read on to see how you can find the time to exercise anywhere anytime.

Plan

If you’re going to find the time to exercise, you need to plan ahead. Before your week fills up and you don’t even have time to think about the gym, schedule some time for exercise three times in your work week and once on the weekend. If you don’t make appointments for workouts, you’re likely not going to do them. I always mark workouts in my notebook with anticipated time and duration. If something important comes up that would make me miss a session, I make up for it the next day (or cut the session in half so that I can do both).

Set up a home gym

Getting to and from the gym may take up more time than you have, so invest in some home equipment. If you can afford a CV machine, and have the space for it, that’s great. But if not, here are a few things that I have in my room that will work too:

  • Yoga mat– good for doing crunches, leg lifts, and stretching.  Easy to pack and store.
  • Stability ball – may be used for abs, lower back, legs, and stretching.
  • Dumb-bells – these come in many shapes and sizes, but I’d suggest starting off with pairs of 5 lb, 10 lb, or 20 lb dumb-bells. Use them to tone your arms, chest and upper back, or to make squats and lunges more challenging.
  • Resistance bands – again, buy several with different resistance levels. These can be used for the same muscle groups as with dumb-bells, but they are super-light and portable. They are great for changing your routine once in a while so your muscles don’t get too accustomed to the same exercises.
  • Ankle weights – get the 3 to 5 lb ankle weights. I either strap them around my ankles to do leg raises, calf lifts, and side kicks, or use them in my hands as dumb-bells. I also do a step routine (using a step platform) while having them on, which makes it more challenging, therefore burning more calories.
  • Step platform – instead of a treadmill or elliptical trainer, a step platform is an alternative for CV exercises. Step up and down as you would in an aerobics class.  I also use it to do lunges with one leg at a time, calf raises, push-ups, tricep dips and some ab exercises.

Combine social time with exercise

Instead of just going out with friends for dinner, ask them to go do something active, for example, bowling, karaoke, or dancing.  I love going dancing with my friends.  It’s fun and burns a lot of calories.  I usually eat dinner at home before going out. In that way I can control what you eat and more likely consume less calories, and then go out for the night (thereby getting myself far away from the kitchen where it’s tempting to snack after dinner). During weekends, I sometimes plan a nature trip with my friends, so we can all get some fresh air, exercise, and fun social time. I also like to go swimming, golfing, or roller-blading. But remember that besides all the fun things you can do with your friends, you also need to get some strength training at least three times a week.

Work out at work

If it’s possible, try incorporating part of your workout into your traveling to and from work, and even during work. If you can ride a bike to and from your office, that’s one way to get your daily CV exercise. If not, go for a brisk walk on your lunch break. Do CV exercise, which takes up more energy, during the day while your energy level is higher, and then in the evening do some muscle training at home.

My parents both work at an office, and drive to work – that’s a lot of sitting and not much movement. To get some daily exercise my Dad has been doing muscle training at his office during lunchtime for many years now. He found an empty room in his office building, and started doing a series of push-ups, sit-ups, squats and stretches every day. He says it’s a welcome break from sitting idle at a desk for many hours, and gives him a boost of energy. Now he has set up a mini gym of his own and brought in dumb-bells and a bench. My Mom takes a long walk in the office neighborhood at lunchtime, and then does sit-ups in the evening at home.

On weekends, my parents like to go walking in the woods or climbing a hill, or go swimming in the lake in the summer.  By investing some of their time in exercise (even though they work full-time) they both look great! My Dad is even fitter now than he was 20 years ago, and my Mom has kept her youthful appearance and energy … all because they take the time to exercise.

 

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