The holidays are such a great time for visiting with family and friends. Unfortunately, you can’t have the holidays without food. Suddenly you find yourself surrounded by every type of Christmas cookie imaginable and your Aunt Thelma’s special fudge. Your waistline may have expanded a bit this last month or so. You know you need to exercise more this coming New Year. But how do you find the time? Life can get busy with work, kids, being a spouse, and putting their needs ahead of your own. Where can exercise fit into your already jam-packed schedule? I’m so glad you asked. I’ve put together some ways to find time in your busy schedule to exercise in the New Year.
Track Your Time
Sit down and take a good and hard look at your schedule. Something is going to have to give for you to find time to exercise. Think about how much time you are going to devote to exercising each day and each week. If it’s 30 minutes a day for six days a week, then you will need to find just 3 hours a week for exercise. With 168 hours in a week, surely you can find 3 hours to exercise. Is there a TV show you could cut out, or how about that time that you may spend on social media? You are going to have to make exercising a priority if you want to see and feel results. Track your time and find a place for your health.
Minimize the Amount of Time That You Get Ready To Exercise
In a perfect world, you would have as many hours as you need to get to the gym or that favorite mountain running trail. But this isn’t a perfect world, and you are busy. So think about minimizing the amount of time that you get ready to exercise. For example, does driving to a gym and back take 30 minutes each way? Consider getting an exercise video that you can do at home. Evaluate the time that you spend getting ready to workout and try to cut down on that pre-exercise routine.
Quality Over Quantity
When you don’t have a lot of time for exercise, make every second count. If you only have 20 minutes, then work that 20 minutes hard. I have an exercise routine that in addition to daily running and a 25-minute workout video every day, I do a bench press workout every other day. On days when I can’t fit in the full bench press workout, I change it up and do a lift to exhaustion workout instead. I might put 100 pounds on the bar and lift it repeatedly until I can no longer lift it. While it may not be the full workout I planned, it is a hard and fast workout that makes me sore and makes my muscles stronger. There may be days that you just can’t quite fit in your full exercise plan. But that doesn’t mean you have to scrap the whole workout. Do what you can and do it hard.
Fit In Workouts At Work if Possible
When I worked outside of my home, I enjoyed trying to fit in a workout at lunchtime or over a 20-minute break. When traveling, fit in 10 minutes at an airport or rest stop. Squats, planks, push-ups, and sit-ups are quick and straightforward exercises that can fit into most people’s schedules. Forget about what people think. I’ve done these exercises behind office desks, in restrooms, and at rest stops. Just do it and forget that someone might see you. You might inspire someone without knowing that you did.
Delegate Chores and Assignments
Can your spouse or child clean up the dinner dishes or vacuum the hallways while you take a quick workout? You might be surprised that the people closest to you will want you to be fit and healthy. Sometimes you just need a little extra help. If you can afford it, hire a helper or babysitter for half an hour a day while you sneak in a workout.
Take The Hard Road
Find ways to add in activity during your day. Run to the copy machine yourself instead of handing it over to a co-worker headed that way. Take the stairs in the morning instead of the elevator. Wear shoes that are comfortable and that you can move in throughout the day. I live on a farm, and I’ve done squats while waiting for a stock tank to fill. It may seem silly, but it can take 5 minutes to fill up, so I use that time wisely, especially on days when my workout routine is going to be cut short. Take the hard way throughout the day and fit in exercise where and when you can.
We live in a busy world. But you still get to choose how you spend your time. Make the time for exercise be a priority in your life. I’ve given some ways here that you can use to incorporate a workout into your busy schedule. Pick one or two that work, and just do it. It may not be easy to find extra time, but it is not impossible. You have 168 hours every week; surely you can find a way to use a small fraction of that time for yourself and your health. Track your time and cut something out. Also, add in small times for exercise throughout your whole day. I sure hope that these ideas help you. Take time for you. You deserve it.