Fit Exercise Into a Busy Schedule - Best Workouts
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all start the week with a great plan. Work hard, play harder, eat
better, workout every day. And maybe we even make it all the way
to Wednesday with our good intentions. But usually, Tuesday morning
finds us rushing to that early meeting with a triple espresso in
one hand, a donut in the other, and our brilliant plan is already
out the window.
Fitting exercise into a busy schedule can be difficult even for
the most fitness focused people. For those of us who need a little
extra motivation, a busy schedule means almost certain death for
any consistent exercise routine. But all is not yet lost! There
are ways to fit consistent workouts into even the busiest of schedules.
The first place to fit exercise into your schedule is at home.
There are many ways to incorporate simple workouts and effective
exercises while doing everyday work at home. Being creative is the
most crucial part of finding the time to workout at home.
Housework is a perfect opportunity to sneak in a few calorie burning
moves. When vacuuming the house, take deep lunge steps to stretch
your legs. As you wash the dishes, do short squats as you load the
dishwasher and calf raises while you stand at the sink. The same
goes for cooking dinner, do lunges across the kitchen to gather
your ingredients. Be sure you are making a healthy meal!
Other chores can become short term exercises as well. A quick walk
through the grocery store, hustling up the stairs, squatting to
pick up the laundry and toys around the house, and being extra active
while washing your car or doing yard work. Of course playing with
the kids and walking the dog are also great ways to get active and
burn calories with activities you are already doing and even need
Do not forget about television time either. Even if you spend your
evenings watching television to relax, you can be active during
your favorite shows. Stand and run in place during commercials,
or do simple yoga moves while enjoying your favorite programs. Incorporating
exercise into your everyday home routine helps to form consistent
habits and soon you will find yourself starting to stretch without
having to think about planning it into your schedule.
for working people, home is often the place you spend the least
of your time. So how do you work some exercises into your business
activities? In much the same way as at home, incorporating a few
small exercises throughout the day can help you burn extra calories
even on days when you do not have the time for a full workout.
If possible, add in some exercise on your way to work. Leave a
bit earlier and walk or bike to the office instead of driving. If
you live too far away for this to be a possibility, park at the
farthest end of the parking lot to get in some quick walking on
the way into and out of the office. Or, if you are a train or bus
commuter, hop off a stop early and finish the journey to work on
foot to grab those extra steps. Brisk walking is a great way to
get your heart rate up and rev up your body to start burning calories.
Take full advantage of your lunch break. Far too often, we get
sucked into working straight through lunch. Our lunch break tends
to take the form of a five minute run to the vending machine or
the nearest fast food joint, and then eating quickly at our desk
between calls, emails, and meetings. Obviously, this habit is not
a healthy one and needs to be broken. To add another short workout
to your day, take back your lunch break! Pack or purchase a healthy
lunch and perhaps choose to walk to a farther location for lunch.
If leaving the office is impossible, grab your headset and do your
phone calls while walking through the halls. Complete your emails
on your phone while you do lunges around the cubicles. Some companies
have an in-house gym or workout room that is open to employees.
If you have the resources available, take advantage of them! Take
a few minutes to stretch and lift some light weights. Be sure to
have an extra set of workout cloths to change into if you will be
doing any strenuous work.
But lunch is only one of possibly ten to twelve hours you might
be spending at the office. During the other work hours, burn extra
calories by doing simple stretches at your desk. During phone calls,
stand rather than sit if possible. In order to continue working
normally and still get in a little exercise (and if you are allowed
to change your office a little) purchase an exercise ball chair.
This allows you to work on posture, core, and balance while still
sitting at your desk. A few other simple stretches can help to increase
energy without ever leaving your chair. These include:
Hand Stretches: Stretch your arm out in front of you,
pointing your fingers to the ground. Use your other hand to
deepen the stretch, then point your fingers toward the ceiling
and deepen the stretch again. Switch hands and repeat on the
Shoulder Shrugs: Help keep your neck and shoulders
loose by doing simple shoulder shrugs, up and down, to release
tension and stretch your muscles.
Arm Circles: Start with small arm circles, fists closed
and arms in front of you. Gradually make larger and larger
circles as you move your arms out toward your sides. (If you
do these while on a phone call, no one will know the difference!
Multitasking is your new exercise best friend.)
Leg Stretches: Loosen tight leg muscles by stretching
your legs out and pointing your toes up and down. Repeat for
Do not forget to take advantage of interoffice space. Rather than
sending an email to your colleague who works in the same building
(especially if they are on the same floor) take a few moments to
walk over to that coworker's desk and pass along the message personally.
The added walking will help to increase your daily step count, which
experts say should be around 10,000 steps a day.
In general, there are a few organizational tips to keep in mind
to help maximize the few precious minutes you are able to spare
for working out in the midst of your busy schedule. Remember to
switch up your workouts and exercises. Make the workouts fun, not
work. Even the most dedicated of us can lose interest with too much
of the same workout. When you have a longer block of time (half
an hour for example, rather than five minutes), incorporate short
high intensity training (HIT) sessions. Even short workouts have
the ability to boost your metabolism and help keep up your consistency.
Find an accountability partner to help you track
your workouts and progress. Having someone else with similar
goals working alongside you will help keep your motivation levels
Above all, be purposeful with your time. Every minute counts in
a busy schedule, and finding the time to fit in purposeful workouts
will boost your energy, metabolism, and self-esteem. You will know
that you are doing what is right for your body and your time all
at once. What more could a busy person ask for?
By Landon Israel