Here are some tips and tricks for how to stick to a workout routine while still having time for other things that matter in life!
Keeping up a consistent workout routine can be tough, especially in today’s fast-paced world. As a busy working woman and mom, I know how hard it can be. Just because we aren’t out and about, running around doing errands as we used to, the time still seems to slip away during this pandemic! Use these 6 tips to solve your dilemma of how to stick to a workout routine.
1. Turn off the late-night TV.
Sometimes it’s easy to get sucked into a mindless activity, and before you know it, it’s past your bedtime. So, turn off your screens and get the sleep you need. You’ll be much more likely to feel refreshed and ready for a morning workout! If you are someone who chronically falls asleep in front of the television, ultimately disrupting your sleep quality, consider making the bedroom a technology-free zone. A goodnight’s sleep leads to more energy for workouts!
2. Commit to a time of exercise you know that works for you.
For many clients, working out first thing in the morning works best. People who adopt this practice as part of their daily routines may be more likely to stick with it. Also, after a long day of work, it can be difficult to take on another task or challenge. Kicking off your shoes, eating dinner, relaxing, and spending time with family can seem all too enticing when you originally planned to work out.
So, for the best results, get up and go! Having said this, there are always exceptions to this rule – personally, I work out at all times of the day –whenever I can fit it in. While this isn’t possible for everyone if you work from home some days, see if your employer will let you adjust your hours to be able to workout in the day. It may even make you more productive, and the quality of your work may improve!
But, whether you are a morning riser or a sundown slayer, it’s essential to commit to better health, one workout at a time. Struggling with making the commitment? Learn how to make an exercise routine happen.
3. Break up your workout.
For many, if a workout is not as long as their usual session, it often gets skipped altogether. But, why does a workout have to necessarily be 45 minutes or an hour? Sometimes life gets in the way, and it’s difficult to fit in an entire exercise routine. But, much like other components of a healthy lifestyle, working out doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. Instead, break up your workout into different segments throughout the day.
It can be much easier to commit to simply doing 15 minutes in the morning and then 15 minutes at lunch or in the evening. I’ll often work in 30 minutes of legs and core in the morning and then follow up with 30 minutes of cardio at night. If you are new to working out, starting with 15-minute increments can also be a great way to reinforce a healthy and long-term habit. Many on-demand and virtual workouts offer options of all durations – 5, 10, 15, 60, 90 minutes. You name it.
4. Limit other unnecessary activities.
See where you can shave minutes off your schedule to preserve some energy and time to work out. We have all been guilty of spending unnecessary amounts of time scrolling on social media or watching the next episode of a binge-worthy television series. Or, maybe you spend a little too long chatting on the phone, online shopping, or other activities. Reclaim your precious exercise minutes and extra energy by putting a limit on the time-sucking activities. Set an alarm, and stick to it!
5. Increase the resistance.
With a never-ending to-do list, some days seemingly fly by, leaving little to no time to work out. Instead of putting off your exercise routine yet another day, condense the time frame and pump up the intensity. Raise that resistance! Speed up that pace! Use every precious moment to get your heart rate racing. Monitor your health and performance status with the use of a heart rate monitor.
Don’t forget; you could also combine different muscle group exercises for a high intensity, full-body workout. Find your new favorite high-intensity interval training (HIIT) virtual classes or online videos that can inspire your quick sweat-sesh from the comfort of your own home. (1)
By using these tried and true tricks, you’ll be amazed at how much time you can discover in your day. Fill those extra minutes with exercise to stay healthy and energized. See 20 plus fitness tips to get moving every day for more ways to be naturally active.
6. Walk it out!
Have you ever considered a walking desk? It’s a great way to get moving AND get all your work done. Talk about a win-win situation! Decreasing sedentary behaviors is an effective way to improve blood pressure, blood sugar control, heart health, and more. (2) Not to mention, it’s a great way to alleviate the back-breaking feeling of your office chair, and stimulate blood flow to the brain. Boost your mental clarity and the number on your step counter with a walking desk!
When life responsibilities and stresses are consuming the day, reinforcing healthy habits can be a challenge. Consequently, it’s important to use the precious (and limited) time to stick to your workout routine and minimize sedentary behaviors. Get a goodnight’s sleep. Put away your beloved technology. Schedule your workout. And most importantly, do what you can! Not every workout has to be perfect. But, let your goals drive your motivation and get it done!
(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22289907 Gibala MJ, Little JP, Macdonald MJ, Hawley JA. Physiological adaptations to low-volume, high-intensity interval training in health and disease. J Physiol (Lond). 2012;590(Pt 5):1077-84.
2. Lavie, C. Sedentary Behavior, Exercise, and Cardiovascular Health. Retrieved from: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.118.312669