When you ask most people if they work out, the answer is something along the lines of, “I try to, but it’s just so hard to make the time.” It’s a popular excuse, but it’s also an accurate one. It’s not just the thirty to sixty minutes of exercise you have to account for. Once you include transportation, showering, and even drying your hair, working out can feel like a proposition that takes hours out of your already too-full day. But the benefits of exercise are still too much to just forget about it entirely. People who exercise are healthier, live longer, and feel better throughout the day, which often leads them to accomplish more with their time. So how do you squeeze fitness into a busy schedule? The truth is, there is no single answer. There are several strategies you can use, and a mix and match combo of several is probably the most effective approach. Here are some of the most effective strategies for getting a workout in when it seems like you don’t have time.
Try Anywhere, Anytime Fitness
Even if you don’t have time for a proper workout, you can still squeeze in a few sets of moves throughout the day. Try doing calf raises while you’re waiting in line at the store, or use a stretch break at the office to do a few push-ups. You can slip in a couple sets of bodyweight moves like these almost anywhere. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference multiple daily mini-workouts can make.
Choose Activities that Pack a Punch In A Short Amount of Time
If your workout must be short, make sure it’s strong. There are a number of activities that just pack a serious caloric burn. Boxing, jump roping, rowing, and Spinning and other forms of biking are some of the best. When you’re burning 600-900 calories in an hour, you’re still making a serious difference even if you can only squeeze in thirty minutes.
Have a Low Sweat Lunchtime Workout
The idea of using your lunch hour to get in a workout is appealing, but the limitations of needing to shower and dry your hair often result in no workout or a less-than-optimal one. The truth is that, despite the common misconception, a good sweat does not equal a good workout. You can build major muscle without sweating much at all. To get the most out of your lunch hour, try doing strength training that builds muscle without working up much sweat, like weight lifting or Pilates.
Do Double Duty
Find ways to exercise while doing the things that are already on your schedule. If you’re meeting a friend for a drink, suggest taking a walk instead. If you’re watching TV at the end of the day, do sit-ups at the same time.
Though a busy schedule is one of the most popular excuses for not working out, it doesn’t have to be. Try these strategies for getting fit within the time constraints of your life.
Cody Halversen is a fitness blogger and enthusiast based in Los Angeles, California. After many years as a professional athlete, he switched over to blogging and fitness coaching. He is a contributing author at Spinning.com