We’ve all been there. Too much to do, too little time. Skipping a meal here and forgetting something on our to-do list. Running around to cram in lots more than we ought to be. And the chorus is constant – No time! Exercise and fitness seem like the Holy Grail. We have the intention, but never get around to taking action, because we’re too busy.
For those of us who go to work, and juggle kids’ schedules, it can be even harder to find the time to work out. We’d be lucky to get that lunch on time!
We always find a reason not to exercise, especially as we take on more responsibilities on the job. But to live a balanced and happy life, we just cannot afford to ignore self care.
Maintaining an active lifestyle is important if we want to stay healthy. Unless we take care of ourselves, there’s just no way we can achieve all our life goals or enjoy life with our loved ones.
So no matter how busy you are, you really must make the time. Consider it a gift to yourself, a gift you cannot live without!
Here are 6 ways to stay active even when you are super busy.
Let’s do this!
- Pledge to make exercise a part of your day.
You know what they say about setting intentions. Very powerful. Make up your mind to do it, and you will. Make exercise a priority, just as you consider reaching that meeting on time, picking up your kids after school and just about everything else you do a priority! To continue to be superwoman or superman, you have to stay healthy. To stay healthy and energetic, you have to work fitness into your schedule. To make it a habit, try doing it at the same time every day.
- Pick something that you enjoy
Based on your lifestyle, choose what you enjoy doing. For example, I hate to jog. All those jiggly bits freak me out. So I prefer to walk briskly and so try to walk as much as I can. No time to go to the gym? No problem.
- Think about what you can do from home, or at work during lunch break.
- A quick jog, a brisk walk around the block, taking the stairs, biking, or walking your dog if you have one.
- How about playing sports? Tennis? Volleyball? Gardening? A game with your kids?
And oh, walk your children back from school so they get into the habit, too.
- Every little bit counts
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing when you promise yourself a 40 minute workout every day. Even a little bit counts. I enrolled at the gym, but found that I didn’t always make it there and I would end up with no exercise on days I had to skip going. Then I realized this just won’t do, and figured out ways to get my heart rate up. Here are some ways that help:
- Make your commute your friend. Park one block away and walk the rest of the way. Get off your bus a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the way.
- Skip the elevator and take the stairs.
- Buddy up with other parents and enjoy long walks with your kids.
- Be active when you get back home. Cooking, vacuuming, housework, they all count. Making a phone call? Walk while talking.
- If you’re a mama with little kids, jog with your stroller.
- Got an infant? Strap her on and do squats for that extra resistance.
Short bursts of exercise throughout the day are just as good as one long workout.
- Start your day just a little earlier
Seriously, it helps! It also means you should get to bed at a reasonable time, and get enough sleep! When you are up early, starting your day with exercise really feels good. You’ll find that your energy levels are much better. I had a tough time fitting it into my schedule and after struggling for a couple of weeks, realized that the only way I was going to do this is if I started my day with it. So, I started wearing my gym clothes to bed. That gave me 10 minutes extra in bed and I could directly start my work out as soon as I woke up. Try it! On days I skip the gym, I do some vigorous stretching and spot jogging. And I drink lots of water!
- Too much work? Work out at the office
Invest in a stability ball, and dumb bells. If your workplace has a gym, that’s fantastic. Stability balls strengthen your core. Do 3 sets of 15 dumbbell curls, stretches and push-ups. Buddy up with a colleague to make it more fun.
- Love watching TV? Multitask!
No need to feel guilty about watching TV! While you watch, fit in some push-ups, some crunches, or some squats. Make space in front of the TV and get on with your workout . Arrange your dumbbells and jump ropes so you can see them – and use them! I bought a secondhand spinner cycle and replaced a chair in the living room with it so I could pedal away as I enjoyed my favorite shows. Win-win!
There you go! Six easy ways to get moving, and stay active when you are busy. And the rewards? More energy, more fitness. And yes, you’ll fit into that coveted pair of jeans you’ve been eyeing!
If you’re looking for motivation to move, which one would you try first?