Exercise for Busy People

Individuals with hectic schedules frequently have a lot of conflicting demands on their time, including jobs, family commitments, and other obligations. Because of this, it may be challenging for them to prioritize exercise and find the time to fit it into their daily schedule. A hectic lifestyle might also make it challenging to find the motivation to exercise due to the frequent mental and physical exhaustion it causes.

However, everyone, including those with busy schedules, should still exercise. In fact, regular exercise can be even more crucial for maintaining your physical and mental health when you lead a hectic lifestyle, as it can reduce stress, increase energy, and help you manage daily challenges. This can make you feel more at ease and peaceful, enhancing your mood and mental health. A quick workout causes your body to create endorphins, which are organic compounds that can make you feel more energized and active. Your sleep duration and quality can also be enhanced with exercise. It can assist in regulating your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, making it easier for you to fall asleep and stay asleep longer.

Recently we wrote a post about keeping up your New Year’s Resolution to eat healthy (here it is!).  As we promised on that post, here are some tips about keeping up an exercise routine and making it fun.  We hope this is helpful!

1. Do what you enjoy.  It seems like common sense, but it is amazing at how many people force themselves to run for miles when they don’t really like running.  It is crucial to exercise in a way that you find enjoyable. When you enjoy your activities, you are more likely to stick with them and make them a regular part of your routine. This can assist you in achieving your fitness objectives and the long-term maintenance of your physical and mental health. If you think about it hard enough, we are sure you’ll be able to come up with at least a handful of exercises that you enjoy.  Here are some ideas: Zumba, yoga, Crossfit, or hiking.

2. Set goals. Setting goals gives you a clear sense of purpose and lets you know what you are aiming for. You may monitor your development and evaluate your progress by setting clear, attainable goals. This can be tremendously motivating and keep you on track even in the face of challenges or disappointments. Goals can also encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and challenge yourself to accomplish things you never imagined possible. Having a defined target will help you succeed and keep up a healthy and active lifestyle, regardless of whether your goal is to run a marathon, lift a certain amount of weight, or exercise for a specific period of time each week. You will work harder if you feel like you are working toward something tangible, not just to lose weight.  Your goal might be to run a 5K (or more), make it through an intense workout class without “cheating”, complete an obstacle course race (yes, they have them, and they are awesome), or pass the President’s Challenge Adult Fitness test (this is the Presidential Physical Fitness test that you took in elementary school, but altered for adults).

3. Find one aspect of your workout that you truly enjoy and would miss if you didn’t work out.  This could be the magazines that you read while on the treadmill or elliptical or your exercise playlist.

4. Make it exercise as easy as possible for you to fit into your life. You can increase your chances of sticking with it and creating a regular exercise habit by making it as simple and convenient for you as possible. This means finding a time that works best for you and finding a place that works best for you.  You can wake up early to squeeze in some exercise before work, work out on your lunch break, or sit down with your husband (create a special song play list for him!)  to see what times during the week would work best.  If you’re waiting for a good exercise time to come to you, you’ll be waiting a very long time.  Determining when you can work out will also help you determine where you can work out, whether it’s workout videos at home, a nearby gym, or a place at your work.

 You may even look forward to your exercises as a means to reduce stress and enhance your general health and wellness, as this becomes a natural part of your daily routine.  

5. If you really can’t find a time and place that works for you, you’ll have to squeeze it into everything that you already do. Even if you’re busy, you can work out wherever you are. You may work out effectively without going to a gym or using any specialized equipment. Exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups, planks, and jumping jacks can be performed practically anywhere, including at home, traveling, or even at the office, especially for busy people.  You can exercise during your child’s sports practices (this works well for outside sports such as track or soccer, or practices that take place at a recreation center).  When you take your kids to the playground, run around it a few times, and then do some pull-ups on the bars. These exercises may be completed quickly and are simple to adapt to your fitness level. You can also get a lot of exercise in while watching TV.  Check out the bodyweight exercises from this post on exercising at home.

6. Mix it up a little to prevent boredom.   It is still necessary to push yourself occasionally and try new things, even if they don’t immediately appeal to you. This might help you discover new hobbies and activities that you might like, preventing boredom or becoming stuck in a fitness slump. You can put on a song and designate a certain exercise to each verse, and one to the chorus.  Or you can try the playing card workout.  Finally, you can write an exercise on a slip of paper, and keep randomly pulling one out of a hat.  These will all keep you guessing and add a fun element to your workout. Ultimately, finding the right balance between your favorite activities and attempting something new will help you sustain a long-term active and healthy lifestyle. 

7. Use the buddy system.  This works especially well if you do exercise programs that require two people, such as tennis or racquetball.  Sometimes you’ll end up going only so that you don’t let down the other. A workout buddy might make sticking to your exercise plan easier since they can keep you accountable and driven. You are more likely to stick to your commitment and complete the task at hand if you are aware that someone else is depending on you to show up and exercise. Exercising with a partner can be more engaging and exciting while providing accountability and motivation. By catching up while you exercise, you may turn it into a social activity – encourage one another and exchange information and tips. Furthermore, having a workout buddy might motivate you to work harder and get better results since you can challenge one another and offer support when necessary.

8. Pick up a new hobby.  There are plenty of exercises that are considered hobbies.  Some examples include dancing, trail running, water sports, skiing, rollerblading, or bicycling.  You’ll have fun, which will keep you motivated to keep it up.  Also, it will become part of your lifestyle, which is important to enjoying your workout. Trail running is something that I love – but make sure you gear up right – click here to find out more.

9. Go ahead and brag just a little.  When you start to get into better shape and come close to (or reach) your goals, you’ll likely feel great about yourself.  If you tell people about it, that will motivate you to progress even more and keep working hard.

10. Create your own competition with yourself.  Keep track of how much you weight you lifted during your last workout, or how quickly you ran a mile.  Try to continually beat your record and improve, even if it’s only by a little bit.

Exercise is better than no exercise at all, even if you can just find a few minutes each day. Look for ways to include physical activity in your everyday routine, such as choosing the stairs over the elevator or walking or bicycling to work if you can. You can also split up your workouts into shorter sessions throughout the day, such as stretching or doing 10 minutes of yoga in the morning and then going for a walk during your lunch break.

In the end, the secret to making exercise a regular part of your routine is to prioritize it and make it a non-negotiable part of your day, just like any other important assignment or appointment. The advantages of regular exercise are worth the effort, even if you have to change your schedule or make some compromises.

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