All the demands we have with work and family can make it really difficult to find quality time for a fitness routine. While it’s tough to make time for exercise, fitness is a critical part of self-care. There might not be a magic bullet to find time to work out, but experiment until you find exercise that you have time for and enjoy.
- Become a weekend warrior
Have you ever seen an incredibly beautiful sunrise or sunset on Instagram, and wished that you had time to take a gorgeous picture like that? For those of us with demanding jobs and obligations, we can achieve our goals by becoming weekend warriors. Weekend warriors are individuals who cram a lot of workout time into the weekends, instead of spacing it out regularly through the week.
A recent Atlantic article discussed research which showed that being an intense weekend warrior could provide similar benefits to working out in a relaxed way a couple times a week. In order to find motivation to spend your weekend working out, choose an activity that really interests you, such as hiking. Having a specific goal for a hike or similar activity can keep you excited through the week and motivated to complete it when the weekend arrives.
- Ask a friend to work out with you
A friend keeps you accountable, especially if you have similar goals. Over the past couple of decades, people have been working out together more often, such as in Spinning or yoga classes, with many of them finding an increased measure of accountability and strength in numbers. The accountability is nice, and often, you and your friend will find that you soon develop an assumed schedule which is conducive to both of your time constraints.
- Sign up for lessons
This is an excellent opportunity to try something new. For instance, maybe you’ve always wanted to try Bikram yoga or learn how to dance. According to the New York Times, signing up for a class gives you a set schedule, and knowing that you paid for the class will make you more likely to stick with it. The structured and instructive environment gives you skills and know-how.
- Early birds get the worm
This one’s a little tougher. Getting up early can be agonizingly difficult, especially if it isn’t a regular habit already. However, making it a habit makes you more productive throughout the rest of the day. Overcome the resistance your mind and body will experience in those early hours, and you’ll find it helps with motivation. Sometimes, doing this with a friend can help you succeed.
- Lunch break champion
Many workplaces have a workout facility that is accessible during the day, and taking a short time during lunch to exercise can help you avoid that post-lunch crash. Breaking up work with a sweat session also refreshes your mind, and can help you approach problems in new ways.
Some places might not have an area where you can exercise. In that case, it might be helpful to go for a long walk and get some low-intensity exercise in. Every step counts.
- Just do a little bit throughout each day
Get out of that chair and move around. Recent research has shown that simply getting up and decreasing sedentary time can keep you healthy. Start small by focusing on getting just a little bit of extra exercise throughout the day whenever you can squeeze in a few minutes of activity. Whether it’s taking the stairs a couple more times or using your break time for a short walk, any extra exercise you do will be beneficial.
Making time for exercise will pay huge dividends. A recent research review article discussed how physical exercise can help positively mediate symptoms of mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, and can even have a possible preventative effect against dementia. It might be tough to make time for fitness, but exercise can help you be healthy now and stay healthy for the long-term.