"I'm run off my feet with work — how do I find time for the gym?"
Sound familiar? It's one of the most common questions we get from clients, and completely understandable given the hectic, demanding nature of modern career-building. Late hours, unscheduled meetings and pressure deadlines often scupper any plans you had to work out, making it impossible to establish any kind of exercise routine.
But don't throw in the towel yet, because you don't have to choose between your career and your health. Here's how to make time for exercise, no matter how tight your schedule:
1. Train Smarter, Not Longer
Unless you're a professional athlete or bodybuilder, chances are you don't have time to sink hours upon hours into the gym every week. So the first thing you'll need to do is trim down your exercise sessions and work more efficiently. High intensity interval training (HIIT), weight lifting, circuit training and fast-paced cardio sessions of no more than 20-30 minutes will fit your schedule better than a long slog on the treadmill, and get you better results to boot.
2. Use Your Calendar
If you find it hard to make time for exercise (or anything else, for that matter), it's often because you don't have a good grasp of the time that's available to you. Examine your schedule — literally write it out on paper or in a diary — and look for hidden time-slots where you can squeeze in a training session. Now add these to your schedule and treat them as you would any important appointment, like going to the doctor or picking your kids up from school.
3. Leverage Accountability
It's easy enough to skip a workout when you're the only one that knows about it. But what if you have to pick up the phone and tell your gym buddy or personal trainer you're not coming? That's much harder to do, and can be the little push you need to get going. Have someone hold you accountable for sticking to your plans, and all of a sudden you'll find it much easier to make time for exercise.
4. Make It Fun
People who find it hard to squeeze exercise into their schedules often have no such trouble keeping other non-work commitments, like meeting up with friends or going to the movies. It's because they just don't get the same "enjoyment factor" from working out. Experiment with different types of training until you find one you like, and definitely try working out with a buddy or good-humoured personal trainer to make it a more social affair.
5. Do What You Can
When it comes to maintaining your health and fitness, any amount of activity is better than nothing at all. If you can't spare a full 30-minutes in the evening for a workout, split up the time throughout the day. Maybe you could get a 10-minute run in at lunchtime, followed by a 15-minute weight-training session in the evening? Again, look at your schedule and see what you can manage, then set aside that precious time and treat it as a high-priority commitment.
Want a more personalized plan for squeezing exercise into your busy day? Request a free consultation here and we'll help you figure it out!
Image: Healthy Global Care