7 Fitness Tips for Busy Lifestyles
Between work, family and everything else you’ve got going on, finding time to exercise can be difficult. Does the following sound familiar? Your oldest has a basketball game tonight, your youngest is starring in a play tomorrow night and your boss wants that big project on his desk by tomorrow morning.
In other words, there’s no time to lift weights or go on a five-mile jog. Fortunately, there are ways to work around nearly any busy schedule. Here are 7 great fitness tips that can be easily put to use by even the busiest of people.
Time doesn’t matter
Don’t get hung up on how long you exercise. Just do what you can when you can. If you have an hour, by all means, take it. But even if all you can spare is 20 minutes, or even just five, that will do as well. The important thing is get your body moving daily.
Prioritize strength over conditioning. It’s easy to get trapped in the mindset that in order to perform an effective workout, you have to push yourself until you’re gasping for breath or your heart is pounding in your chest. This is absolutely false. Don’t fall for it. The effects of cardiovascular training fade pretty quickly while the results of strength training last much longer.
Hone your skills
On those days when you’re less than excited about exercising, use that day to work on a particular skill. For instance, you can use an entire exercise session practicing handbalancing moves, such as crow/crane poses or elbow levers. You’ll likely discover strengths or weaknesses you were unaware of before. This knowledge may help you with more intensive training in the future.
Take a break from your workouts and do a fun activity instead. If you have a dog, take him to the beach or the park and have a race. Play soccer with your child and/or spouse. Get out the Wii and play an interactive game that requires full body movement. Though there will be times when doing your regular workout is clearly the better choice, exploring other options will make your regular exercise routine more interesting, meaning you’re more likely do it.
The next time you lift weights, jog, or power walk, invite a good friend or group of friends along. Not only does this provide a great opportunity to socialize, it also fosters accountability for both yourself and the other participants. When two or more people are coordinating a workout regimen, everyone is more likely to participate because they have a support system.
Rock your commute
There are also different ways you can exercise during your daily work commute. If you live close enough to your workplace, you can walk. Even if your job is no more than five minutes away, a brisk walk to and from your destination can make for a good workout. If your commute is too long for walking, consider biking to work. If neither of those are workable options, another possibility is public transportation, where you’ll have to walk to and from each end of the bus or train route. If driving is completely unavoidable, park your car a short distance from your workplace, forcing yourself to walk a distance.
Do your chores
If you have a lawn, use a hand mower when you cut the grass, or hand tools when you garden. If you go to the corner store, walk instead of driving. You can also do aerobics or stretches while you’re watching TV.