These days everyone is busy. Busy with work, school, family, home chores, etc. How is it some people are able to balance fitness with their crazy schedules and others are not?
It comes down to priorities and making time. Then eventually it becomes a habit. I’ve been working out regularly for 24 years. For me it is similar to showering. I just do it, whether I want to or not.
Below are my top 5 ways to make working out a habit with a busy life.
1 - Workout in the morning
I know, this suggestion sounds terrible, especially if you’re like me and love to sleep, but working out in the morning means you get it done and over with before life slaps you in the face.
Every time I put off working out until the afternoon, something always gets in the way. Next thing I know, I’m skipping workouts or half-assing it.
When you workout in the morning, you won’t have it hanging over your head all day.
2 - Workout immediately after work
Hmmm, confusing, right? I just recommended that you workout in the morning and now I’m recommending after work.
Well, not everyone enjoys working out in the morning. Some people don’t have the energy for it. If you are one of those people that can barely lift your coffee mug and know you definitely cannot lift a dumbbell that early, then get it done immediately after work or whatever you do throughout the day.
Find a trigger that signals it’s time to workout. When I worked out in the afternoons, it was always after I finished my last sip of coffee. When the mug was empty, I knew it was time to workout.
For my husband, it’s the moment he gets home from work. He walks in the door, changes into his workout clothes, eats a quick bowl of cereal, then heads to our home gym. He doesn’t even sit down to eat. He knows if he gets comfortable, he’ll put it off.
3 - Efficient and quick workouts
To make your workouts efficient, you need exercises that are going to give you the biggest bang for the shortest amount of time.
If you’re a beginner, I recommend lifting weights 3 days a week and targeting the entire body. You’ll want to stick with compound exercises, which works multiple muscle groups.
If you’re an endurance athlete, such as a marathoner, consider weight training or speed work on your busy days and leaving long distance work on your non-busy days.
4 - Workout at home
My husband and I started building our home gym after our kids were born. I knew I wouldn’t have time to go to the gym with twin babies, so we started buying what we could afford.
The first pieces of equipment we bought was an adjustable dumbbell set and a bench, which we still use to this day. Over the years, we kept adding equipment.
It wasn’t until 4 years ago, when we moved 40 minutes from York Barbell, that we bought the majority of our equipment. Now, we have a fully functional home gym that meets all of our fitness needs. It took us 7 years to complete our gym.
If you have limited funds and/or no space for a home gym, I would recommend getting a TRX. You can get a great workout in with a TRX.
Also, consider buying equipment around the holidays when they typically go on sale. We buy equipment that we want, but not necessarily need, around the holidays. Summer is also a good time to buy fitness equipment.
5 - Do something, even if it’s small
If you absolutely cannot fit in a proper workout, do something, anything.
Knockout 20 push-ups and 20 squats before you shower in the morning. Do wall sits while you brush your teeth for 2 minutes. Park in the back of the parking lot. Take the stairs.
If you get an hour for lunch, eat for 20 minutes, then walk for 40 minutes. If you’re constantly running your kids to activities, like I am, then workout while they’re busy. When I drop my son off for soccer practice, I walk or run around the field.
If I don’t have time for a full yoga practice, I’ll take 10 minutes throughout the day to complete a few sun salutations, or work on a pose. Something is better than nothing.
No matter how busy your life may be, there is always a way to fit in exercise. It is a matter of prioritizing your time and activities.
How do you fit in exercise when you are busy?