The world is moving faster than ever. It always seems there is never enough time between shuffling between meetings, answering a barrage of emails, and enjoying a social life. Who has time to stay fit? Many people dread thinking about fitness or getting in shape with so much going on in daily life. This guide looks at good ways to squeeze fitness into your busy schedule and maintain fitness levels and remain active.
Block out time
Part of a busy lifestyle includes juggling several activities, friends, and dates. A good way to make sure you stay fit is to block out time in your schedule. When you make an appointment on your calendar, treat that time as if it were an interview or a work meeting you can’t miss. This forces you make time in your schedule dedicated to fitness. It doesn’t have to be a long period of time, a thirty-minute workout done properly can have the same net effect as a longer workout.
Turn off the wi-fi and messaging
Apps and phones give you unthrottled access to distractions. When you are first starting out with your routine, turn off your wi-fi and messaging to avoid distractions. As stated above, a focused thirty-minute workout can be very beneficial and over in thirty minutes. You may struggle with this at first since we are all connected to our devices today but it will go a long way to keep you engaged in your workout.
Look for convenience
Decades ago home gyms were reserved for strange gadgets and affluent members of society. With the introduction of Peloton, Bowflex, and Mirror, home gyms are more compact and closer to reality than ever. If you can’t (or don’t want to) break the bank there are several budget options available like foldable rowing machines and weight sets. The more convenient and easy your access to a workout area, the more likely you are going to stick to a routine.
Join a streaming class
This may violate the rule of turning off messaging and wi-fi but this option gives you structured workouts without having to go into the gym or pay high fees to join classes at a local gym. This way you hurdle two psychological barriers to exercise: inconvenience and access. On-demand classes allow you to work out when it is best for you not only when the class is scheduled.
Use lunch breaks advantageously
Similar to the Peloton idea of in-home convenience, you can turn your office, cube, or work area into a small gym. There is a company that designed a mini treadmill with busy active adults in mind. Instead of a bulky treadmill typically found in rows at gyms, these fit under desks and are easily movable. During lunch or a break in the day, you can walk and get the blood flowing. The intent isn’t to necessarily work up a sweat but moving and walking are good for the body.
If you don’t want to buy a desk treadmill, a walk around the building or outside accomplishes the same feat. There are plenty of mapping and walking apps that can help you plan a 20-30 minute walk during a break in the day.
Make minor diet changes
Many fitness experts and influencers know that the most important part of getting in shape and remaining fit is diet. There are small choices you can make each day to help get yourself in shape. Instead of trying to overhaul your diet going from eating fish and chips to lettuce, make incremental changes. For instance, instead of getting chips on the side, get steamed vegetables or a side salad. The caloric difference between the two is large and will benefit your long term health.
Another small change you can make is cut out sugar and sugary drinks. Even diet sodas are bad for your fitness because they can cause bloating. Although there isn’t technically any sugar in diet sodas, your body may react like it is taking sugar into the body.
This isn’t to say you need to be a monk or takes hours and years to study meditation instead take ten minutes out of your day to declutter your mind. There are many ways to detach yourself from the stress of your world for a few minutes. A new phenomenon is a headspace which is a practical way to reduce anxiety and help reduce stress in your daily life.
Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
Sleep is incredibly important to recovery and maintaining your active lifestyle. Similar to blocking off time for your exercise, make sure to be almost religious about your sleep schedule. Sleep apps will help you monitor your sleep from night to night and show you how you are sleeping. Getting between seven and nine hours of sleep helps your body and mind recover. If you are dreaming, you are having a good rest. This means you have gone into REM sleep where the brain indexes and recovers from the stressful busy day you just had.
Cut out afternoon caffeine
Many aren’t the same without their morning coffee or tea which is normal. Caffeine has a half-life of five hours meaning half of the caffeine is expelled from your body in five hours. This will change based on your health and diet. For afternoon tea, reach for a decaffeinated cup or blend to avoid keeping you up at night. A good guideline to follow is to avoid consuming caffeine after two in the afternoon, this will assure you fall asleep quickly and more importantly stay asleep.
Try Low Key Golf Exercise
Playing golf is great for separating yourself from the world for a few hours. You get to be out on the golf course, outside and walking. In addition to playing a quick nine holes that can take under an hour and a half think about trying the driving range. Hitting 150 to 200 golf balls with your forged iron in quick succession is a good cardio workout.
You don’t have to be a fitness guru to stay fit and be healthy as you maintain your busy and active lifestyle. Small changes to your lifestyle that can be done without changing anything major about your lifestyle can have long term benefits to your fitness and health. The compounding effect of making small changes and sticking to a strict regimen of blocking out time for sleep and exercise will make fitness a long term possibility.