I know it’s hard to make time to exercise if we’ve been out of the game for a while. And it’s even harder if we have a slew of commitments, kids, and work to attend to that we’ve never had before.
For instance, I know people who put in ten to fourteen hours a day at the office, five days a week with the occasional six. Then they have chauffeur their kids to two separate practices at least three days a week and have dinner ready every day.
That’s not an easy life and it’s understandable as to why people have so much difficulty fitting in time to undertake an exercise regimen.
Where to fit exercise into a schedule like this might be the biggest challenge facing American adults today, especially now that we’re sprouting adults and life loves to get in the way of our plans.
It’s always ‘wait ‘til next year’ for the majority of us, but maybe this time I can help you see a breakthrough while busting myths along the way.
So, how do you make time to fit exercise into your wild and wacky schedule?
The answer, in all honesty, is much easier than you think.
Follow me and find out how within the six-minute read of this article!
ALL Physical Activity Counts
This means smaller bouts throughout the day count as exercise. To be honest, I’m much better off stringing together two or three forty-minute bouts of exercise throughout my day because it helps me remain focused on every activity on my daily itinerary from the time I wake up to the time I go to sleep eighteen hours later.
Yes, I take breaks in between my activities but still, the smaller bursts fit so much better in with my crazy schedule.
Now, you don’t need to exercise for thirty to forty minutes three times a day unless fitness is your profession or even then, you don’t even need to – it’s sort of extreme. Three bouts of ten minutes a day will work wonders, especially if your body isn’t used to the stimulus.
But where do we find time?
Well, if we have a one-hour lunch break, we can get a twenty-minute bout in, especially if your office has a fitness center or there’s a trail near your place of work. However, most of us might not have access to in-office fitness centers or shower facilities that might be necessary.
So, how do we combat this?
Let’s find out.
Before/After Work Crusade
Okay, so do you have a fitness center near the office?
If you do, it’s wise to join it and do the following each day:
1. Drive past it on your way to (and from) work.
2. Bring gym clothes with you.
3. Decide whether you want to go in before, after, or both before and after work.
For example, I recall a few members doing this during my old days in Weirton. They came into the gym at five-thirty or six in the morning before bolting to work for eight to ten hours.
In the late afternoon (split schedules are weird), they’d return for another twenty-thirty minutes.
This does require waking up earlier if you’re cool with it. But what it will do is guarantee that you go into the gym and workout at least once a day, especially if you have time for a thirty to forty-minute exercise bout.
The fact that you are driving past the gym that’s near your work means it’s no longer an excuse to “go out of your way” to get to the gym. Instead, the gym is in the crosshairs for eight to ten hours a day at the very least and is literally a few minutes away from your job. Finally, it’s ON your way to and from work.
Some may claim that they don’t have a gym near them, but I can contest this rather easily. Back in Weirton, a town of about 17,000 and shrinking, I had two gyms right off the next exit; literally off the highway to the point you could see their signs, and both were 24-hour fitness centers.
Furthermore, in the neighboring towns of Wintersville and Steubenville (combined population of 20,000 and shrinking), there were two more 24-hour gyms plus a YMCA, along with a couple ‘rat gyms.’
Within a 15-minute radius, I had seven options and that doesn’t even include going to work. And I was about 20 minutes from Robinson, PA, where another five options existed.
In other words, unless you live and work far out in a rural area, you have a gym nearby.
No, I’m not telling you to eat and workout, or try to workout while cooking or anything crazy. What I am telling you is that you can workout while watching the evening news or your favorite TV show.
You can workout rather than grab a beer and unwind for the rest of the day.
You can workout upon waking up in the morning rather than hit the snooze button.
What I’m telling you is that you always have time to workout; it’s up to you to want to workout. If you’re one of those people who claim they don’t have time for the gym (or a home gym) but at the same time is indulging in chips and beer while watching your favorite TV show or reliving the good old days with classic TV, then you need to re-evaluate your lifestyle.
You have time.
You’re choosing to use it in a different manner and it’s an unhealthy manner.
Now if you’re contemplating change, then you seriously need some re-evaluation. Look at the beer you’re holding or the chips you’re eating. Tell me if this little bit of instant gratification and escape from the real world is what you really want.
Because chances are, it isn’t; it’s going to waste away by the time five in the morning rolls around or whatever time you get up for work. Add this to the perpetual state of stress most of us are in and temporary relief never seems to do the job.
So re-evaluate, take control, and learn to multitask.
I like to think of pursuing a fitness regimen as lifestyle change; not adding in an activity to your current daily routine as many novice trainees always seemed to think back in the day. You can’t just add in exercise to an unhealthy routine and expect miracles, but you can change your lifestyle and miracles will happen.
For instance, when you insert exercise into your lifestyle, you’re taking something else out. If you wish to exercise in the morning, you have to sacrifice an hour of sleep. If you want to exercise in the evening while your favorite TV show is on, you’re sacrificing sitting on the couch with alcohol or junk food.
When you have a gym in route to and from work, you’re sacrificing another daily activity to hit the gym and exercise during this time, whether it’s sleep or even a TV show. When you add exercise, you should be either taking away or curtailing something else that’s needless, such as eating junk food in the evening.
But again, we’re looking at lifestyle change, and it’s the common denominator when it comes to make time for exercise. You can’t add in hours of the day, but you can factor in what’s called an opportunity cost, or trading one activity in for another, and that’s all an exercise regimen is about.