It’s no secret exercising keeps you both physically and mentally healthy. Yet despite all the research on its benefits, many people can’t find the time to improve their fitness levels. In today’s busy world, going to the gym might seem like a luxury. With the time it takes to commute and the actual workout, this activity can take hours! Luckily, it isn’t impossible to stay fit while keeping up with your work and home duties. It does, however, take a little bit of planning and plenty of motivation.
Make a Plan
One of the ways to make time for exercise is to create a plan. This means you need to have a firm grasp on your schedule. Enter in everything you need to do for the day, no matter how small, and make sure to include travel time to each activity. This way you’ll know exactly how much time per day you have to fit in some physical activity. It might not be possible to carve out large chunks of time to devote to fitness, but that’s okay. You can squeeze in a good workout even in 10 minutes.
Look over your schedule and then find the best times for your exercise. You can break it up into smaller chunks, but keep it consistent and make sure to do it on a daily basis. Keep it up as long as possible. Habits take time to form, but even if you miss a couple of days, you can still form good workout habits. With that said, it’s much easier to stick to the schedule if you make the effort to follow through every day.
Work Out at Home
While a gym membership can provide you with machines and weights you don’t have at home, you don’t need them to maintain a decent level of fitness. In fact, at-home workouts are becoming increasingly popular. Not only is it cheaper—you don’t have to pay a monthly membership fee—it also saves you a lot of time since you don’t have to go anywhere. There are hundreds of home workout videos you can find online and on YouTube. With so many options, you’re bound to find some that fit your time constraints and physical activity. You can even go a step further and use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for YouTube to find geo-restricted videos for even more variety.
When choosing a workout video, it’s a good idea to read the description and watch the actual video first before committing to it. You don’t want anything that is too difficult, especially if you’re just starting out. Start with something that will challenge you but won’t put too much strain on your body. Also, make sure to choose exercises that match your likes and dislikes. If you hate yoga, don’t force yourself to do it. Find something you enjoy, and it will be easier for you to stick with it.
Squeeze Fitness into Everyday Life
There are very simple steps you can take to add just a little more fitness to your day that don’t require you to break a sweat. For example, if you drive to work, park your car farther from the entrance to get in some additional exercise before starting your nine-to-five. When at work, try to take short breaks every couple of hours to walk around the office and stretch your legs. And while cutting screen time can drastically increase the amount of time you have for fitness, if you don’t want to miss your favorite show, then consider marching or jogging in place while watching. During commercial breaks you can even fit in some quick high-intensity interval training (HIIT) if you want. It might seem small, but some researchers have found these short bursts of exercise may be more beneficial than spending hours at a gym.
For those with children, you can easily improve family time by adding in more physical activity such as playing catch, riding bikes, hiking, swimming, ice skating and more. Not only is it a great bonding opportunity, but it also keeps everyone in the family healthy.
Track Your Activity Levels
It’s not enough to keep track of the days you’ve worked out; you also need to track your sessions and other pertinent information such as reps, weight, time and more. It might seem tedious, but it’s the only way you’ll be able to monitor your progress and find areas of improvement. It will keep you on track and help you realize when you’re slipping. Of course, it’s also a great way to see all the progress you’ve made as well. There’s nothing more motivating than seeing where you started and where you are now. Even in just a month you can accomplish quite a lot, so keep a journal or download a fitness tracking app. Many of these will graph out your progress for you so you can see how far you’ve come.
Staying fit doesn’t have to be a chore, nor does it have to take a lot of your time. Start small and then gradually work your way up to a more fit lifestyle.
How do you fit exercise into your daily routine? Tell us in the comments below!
About the author: Cassie is a freelance technology writer and fitness enthusiast. When she’s not tapping away on her keyboard, she’s outside hiking or jogging with friends. She loves how technology companies have embraced fitness and now make it easier for people to stay healthy.